Reserves rocked by injury-time goal

GLENTORAN seconds managed to snatch a point from Saturday’s IFA Reserve League game thanks to an injury-time equaliser.

The highly-experienced Colin Nixon forced the ball home in added time to prevent Portadown reserves from leaving Belfast with a victory.

“Before the game we probably would have been happy with a point,” said Richard Clarke, the reserves’ player/manager. “However, it is frustrating to sit 2-1 up with minutes left and finish level.

“I cannot ask any more from the players, to be honest, with the commitment levels superb since I joined as player/manager.

“We have added to the squad in recent weeks by bringing in people like Orman Okunaiya, Sammy Stewart, Michael Toland and Christian Stewart.

“Another recent arrival, Carson McIlhatton, was brilliant on his debut as goalkeeper.

“Sammy and Kyle Robinson formed a good centre-back pairing against a Glentoran side with people like Nixon, Stuart Elliott and Richard Gibson.

“We took the lead thanks to Michael McClellan’s neat finish, with Ryan Burns looking really sharp.

“Ryan then hit the crossbar in the second half but reacted first to net from the rebound.

“That goal came on the counter-attack following a nice pass by Ciaran Rooney.

“Ciaran played beside me in the centre of midfield and I am feeling stronger with every game, in terms of my match fitness.

“In the end, Michael had to come off injured late on after we had used every substitution so Glentoran grabbed an equaliser against our 10 men.

“We have a free date this weekend.”

PORTADOWN RESERVES: Carson McIlhatton, Michael McPartland, Sammy Stewart, Kyle Robinson, Nathan McConnell, Matthew Brown, Richard Clarke, Ciaran Rooney, Orman Okunaiya, Ryan Burns, Michael McLellan. Subs: Nathan Lavery, Christian Stewart, Jordan Gilmore, Michael Toland.