Portadown’s scoreless draw with Carrick Rangers played out on Saturday at Shamrock Park with highs and lows before final frustration.
The Ports left the pitch searching for answers behind the blank scoresheet in the face of a string of scoring opportunities.
Mark McAllister proved at the centre of the debate as the experienced forward popped up on a number of occasions in the right position but lacked the end product.
Key was his penalty miss after the break as Carrick goalkeeper Brian Neeson produced a save to protect his clean sheet and mark another afternoon of dropped points for the Ports.
Portadown entered the interval suffering from another red card following Tim Mouncey’s dismissal due to back-to-back bookings inside a five-minute spell.
However, despite the numerical on-field advantage, Portadown headed for the dressing room at the close of play looking back on a missed opportunity.
McAllister and striker partner Marcio Soares failed to benefit from early positive play by Ross Redman and Sean Mackle.
Carrick’s response featured a dangerous low delivery which Chris Casement managed to clear from a few yards out.
One ball over the Carrick backline left McAllister unmarked but his sidefoot shot dropped wide.
McAllister had additional openings but the fixture finished with honours even.
The absence of a cutting edge may sow a seed of doubt among the fanbase entering this weekend’s crucial Irish Cup clash in which every sight of goal could prove decisive.
PORTADOWN: David Miskelly, Chris Casement, Ross Redman, Keith O’Hara, Ken Oman, Sean Mackle, Mark McAllister, Michael Gault, Tim Mouncey, Philip Lowry, Marcio Soares. Subs: Martin Marron, Chris Ramsey, Mikey Withers (on for McAllister, 85 mins), Matthew Parker, Garry Breen.