‘TIMES’ IRISH CUP SPECIAL - Murray keen to make up for lost time after too long in the stands

Darren Murray and Portadown supporters celebrate the final goal in the Irish Cup victory against Portstewart. Pic by PressEye Ltd.
Darren Murray and Portadown supporters celebrate the final goal in the Irish Cup victory against Portstewart. Pic by PressEye Ltd.

A six-game suspension has handed Darren Murray ample opportunity to appreciate the value of timing.

Now back from his ban, Murray is keen to clock up another appearance on the Portadown scoresheet - with Saturday’s semi-final the perfect platform to celebrate his return.

Murray sits just one goal behind the club’s top scorer, Gary Twigg, despite suffering a spell on the sidelines due to disciplinary problems.

The striker will travel to The Oval this weekend aiming to make up for time lost in the current campaign but also with a desire to wipe out the memory of a previous semi-final appearance.

That 2013 defeat to Glentoran marked one of Murray’s greatest disappointments in a Ports shirt. Fans may still shudder at the memory of Murray’s miss from a golden position on a day of collective Portadown misery.

“It has been tough watching the past six games from the stands,” said Murray. “That Glentoran game was a nightmare for everyone and, if given the chance to do it all again, I would bury the one-on-one.

“It is not about making amends but I have been at Portadown for about three years now and want to do what I can to win a medal.

“Gary, Mark McAllister and myself can combine in different ways for the team.

“Mark holds the ball up so well and Gary’s finishing is just different class.

“This is a much stronger squad than back in 2013, with so many big players all over the pitch.”