Strong second half as Ports produce winning cup display

Delight for, from left, Mark McAllister, Philip Lowry and Michael Gault following Portadown's third goal against Coleraine.
Delight for, from left, Mark McAllister, Philip Lowry and Michael Gault following Portadown's third goal against Coleraine.

In the debate over the potential of this current Portadown squad against the reality of the limitations, this season’s fixture list offers a clear distinction between cup and league football.

The Ports entered Saturday’s Irish Cup test with Coleraine having suffered six successive Danske Bank Premiership defeats.

In a similar pattern to the second half of last season, Portadown produced on the one-off occasion to knock out Coleraine and secure a quarter-final spot.

The issues behind a stuttering league campaign were set aside for around an hour on Saturday as Portadown finished with a 3-1 win that maintains hopes of revenge for past pain suffered in the 2015 final and ambitions of ending the season with silverware.

The positives were measured against 60 minutes rather than the full 90 as Coleraine dominated the opening half-hour period. A Keith O’Hara block and saves by David Miskelly left Coleraine frustrated before Portadown found the net for the first time in 308 minutes.

Ken Oman was on hand to stab home a Ross Redman corner-kick delivery and break the deadlock.

Coleraine left it level at half-time thanks to James McLaughlin’s slick strike.

However, Portadown took control in the second half and a penalty kick allowed Gary Twigg to make his mark from the penalty spot.

With the high-stakes football connected to the Irish Cup, a first appearance on a Portadown scoresheet for Philip Lowry not only moved the tie beyond Coleraine but also signalled a boost for the January signing.

PORTADOWN: David Miskelly, Keith O’Hara, Chris Ramsey, Ken Oman, Ross Redman, Robert Garrett, Michael Gault, Philip Lowry, Gary Twigg, Mark McAllister, Chris Casement. Subs: Sean Mackle, Marcio Soares (on for Twigg, 62 mins), Matthew Parker, Padraig Judge, Martin Marron.