Portadown were defeated 2-1 by rivals Glenavon at Shamrock Park in wet and windy conditions on Tuesday night in front of the BBC Sport NI cameras.
Portadown’s only change from Saturday saw Christopher Crane make his first appearance for the Ports since our 2-1 defeat to Linfield in November coming in for loanee Eamon Scannell who picked up a knock on Saturday. The visitors saw 5 changes from Saturdays game, with Conan Byrne, Greg Moorhouse , Matthew Snoddy, Aaron Harmon and Gareth McCaffery coming in for Daniel Purkis, Andy Hall and Matthew Fitzpatrick who drop to the bench and Michael O’Connor who was left out of the Matchday line-up. Lee McNulty missed the game due to Saturdays red card.
The opening 15 minutes saw neither side mount a serious opportunity to test either keeper in wet and windy conditions.
The visitors had an opportunity snuffed out in the opening minutes when a sliding tackle from Greg Hall denied Conor McCloskey the chance to get a shot on goal from inside the box.
The 20th minute saw an enforced substitution for the visiting side after a lengthy delay when a strong effort from Ports captain Luke Wilson from 25 yards came off the top of the head of Glenavon captain Colin Coates who, after treatment seemed to still be dazed thus being taken off as a precaution for Andy Hall.
Soon after play had restarted Portadown had a good opportunity to go in front when Ben Guy found Lee Bonis in a good position, however Lee’s effort was well off target.
On 23 minutes Sam Warde went close through a long range free kick which was unusually chested out of harms way by Hyland in the Glenavon goal.
The former Shamrock Rovers keeper Hyland had to be alert to palm over the bar a curling, wind assisted cross from Ben Tilney for a corner which was subsequently cleared.
Glenavon had a massive opportunity on 27 minutes when a previously deflected effort landed at the feet of Gareth McCaffery mere yards from goal, his effort lacked the power to trouble Jacob Carney and Andy Hall had his follow up effort cleared off the line by Greg Hall.
The visitors had their opening goal on 34 minutes, in a training ground esc move, a corner found McCaffery who headed the ball into the path of Andy Hall who fired a low shot into the bottom corner for his first goal of the season for the Lurgan side.
Four minutes later Ports defender Paul Finnegan went so close to scoring from around 40 yards when Hyland just did enough to tip his wind assisted effort past the post.
Half time score:
Glenavon 1 (Hall 34′)
Less than two minutes into the second half it was 2-0, Gareth McCaffery picked the ball up from a throw in and lashed a ball into the bottom left corner of the net beyond the reach of Carney.
Glenavon continued to exert a foothold on the game with Portadown struggling to get the ball to the two front men of Bonis and Murray, a shot from a tight angle from Glenavon’s McCloskey was tipped beyond danger by Carney in the Portadown goal on 62 minutes.
Substitutes Adam Salley and Chris Lavery had the desired positive effect on Portadown’s play and combined on 67 minutes to pull a goal back, when a run down the right side from the former connected with the latter to reduce the deficit.
Substitute Adam Salley tested goalkeeper Hyland on 76 minutes powering through with a shot that forced a save to the keepers right to deny the former Linfield man.
Portadown had a penalty appeal on 79 minutes when a goalward header from captain Luke Wilson was cleared off the line by Aaron Harmon with Portadown defenders appealing the ball touched the hand of the defender although the fact that the view of those watching and possibly the officials were impeded by players meant the viability of the concern was hard to ascertain.
The referee blew for full time with the game ending 2-1 to Glenavon.
Our next fixture is this Saturday 13th March away to Ballymena United. Kick off is 3:00pm.
Full time score:
Portadown 1 (Lavery 67′)
Glenavon 2 (Hall 34′, McCaffrey 46′)
Match Officials – Referee – Lee Tavinder / Assistant 1 – Stephen Bell / Assistant 2 – Jamie Carnduff / 4th official – Louise Thompson
PSS Man of the Match: Lee Bonis – Chosen by Eden Reds.
Portadown XI (managed by Matthew Tipton): Carney (GK), G Hall, Crane, McCallum (booked 90+2), Finnegan, Bonis (booked 21’), Murray (replaced by Salley 57’), Wilson (booked 29’), Guy (replaced by Conaty 90+1), Warde, Tilney (replaced by Lavery 57’)
Portadown Substitutes: Buchanan (GK) (unused), McKeown (unused), Lavery (goal 67’),Tipton (unused), Salley (unused),Teggart (unused), Conaty
Glenavon XI (managed by Gary Hamilton): Hyland (GK), Coates (C) (replaced by A Hall 20’), Byrne, Campbell (booked 90+2), Moorhouse, Snoddy, Harmon, McCloskey, Garrett, Ward, McCaffery (goal 46’), (replaced by Fitzpatrick 79’)
Glenavon Substitutes: Taylor (GK) (unused), Purkis (unused), A Hall (goal 34’), Fitzpatrick, Norton (unused), Douglas (unused), J Doyle (unused)
Written by Alex Morrison.