A penalty in the first and the second half from Coleraines Ben Doherty sealed the three points for the home side on Tuesday evening at the Coleraine Showgrounds.
In quite a cagey opening fifteen minutes the hosts had an opportunity when a pinball into the centre of the box from Matthew Shevlin was fired wide by Curtis Allen.
Coleraine went in front on 17 minutes, when referee Ross Dunlop pointed to the spot following the ball coming off the arm of Greg Hall in what looked unintentional and quite a harsh decision. Ben Doherty dispatched the resulting penalty to give the home side the lead.
Minutes later Lee Bonis had a great chance to equalise, the Portadown man broke down the left side but sent his effort wide of the post.
Bonis had another huge opportunity when a ball in from a corner wasn’t picked up by the Coleraine defence, but the former Seagoe man couldn’t get a connection on the ball.
The biggest chance for the Ports came on 34 minutes, when Bannsiders keeper Gareth Deane spilled a long range effort from Bonis to the feet of Salley who couldn’t get his foot on it in what would have been a certain goal.
Soon after the former Linfield man Salley had another opportunity, going on a bolting run in behind the defence which was stopped in its tracks by Deane in the Coleraine goal.
The Ports ultimately rued the numerous missed opportunities in the first half that could have massively changed the outcome of the match.
Coleraine 1 (Doherty 17′ (P) )
The second half saw the hosts regain control of the game with the Ports threat from the first half very much placated.
The hosts had a decent opportunity early on when a crisp header from Matthew Shevlin was caught in the air by Carney.
They went close soon after with a decent run down the right from substitute Jamie Glackin came off the post from a tight angle.
Going into the final quarter of the game Coleraine sought to see out the game with few real opportunities at either end, on 64 minutes a deep ball from Tilney found McKeown at the left side of the box, with his subsequent headed effort not threatening the keeper.
Similarly, Glackin at the other end found himself in space at the edge of the box to test Carney in the Portadown goal, however his effort lacked enough power to properly test the Man United loanee.
The hosts had their second penalty of the evening which wasn’t really as subjective as the first, this time Hall was adjudged to have brought down substitute Eoin Bradley in the box. Doherty instead of going to the keepers left this time went to his right, to make it 2-0 to the home side.
In the dying minutes Lyndon Kane should have made it 3-0, when a slack back pass from Adam McCallum fell to the feet of the full back bringing him clean through on goal, with Carney making himself big to keep the score at 2-0.
The game finished 2-0 to the home side who now are within two points of league leaders Linfield following their defeat to rivals Glentoran tonight.
Our next game is this Saturday 6th at home to Glenavon. Kick Off will be at 3pm.
Full time score: Coleraine 2 (Doherty 17′ (P) & 80′ (P) )
(Game took place behind closed doors)
Match Officials– Referee – Ross Dunlop / Assistant 1 – Ken Ross / Assistant 2 – Neil Gillespie / 4th official – Shane McGonigle
Coleraine XI (Managed by Oran Kearney): Deane (GK), Kane (C), Canning, Jarvis, Doherty (replaced by R Wilson 84’, booked 92’), Lowry, Carson, Parkhill, Allen (replaced by Bradley 62’), Beverland, Shevlin (replaced by Glackin 54’)
Coleraine substitutes: Gallagher (GK) (unused), Douglas (unused), Bradley, R Wilson, Tweed (unused), Glackin, Nixon (unused)
(Managed by Oran Kearney)
Portadown XI (Manager by Matthew Tipton): Carney (GK), Hall, McCallum, Finnegan, McKeown, Salley (replaced by Murray 74’), Bonis, Wilson (C) (replaced by Tipton 84’), Conaty, Healy (replaced by Lavery 80’), Tilney
Portadown Substitutes: Buchanan (GK) (unused), Lavery, Tipton, Murray, Croskery (unused), Teggart (unused), Kerr (unused)
Written by Alex Morrison.