Portadown started the season with a 1-1 draw with Mid Ulster rivals Glenavon at Shamrock Park on Friday night with both goals coming in stoppage time in what was an entertaining derby fixture.
The Portadown manager Matthew Tipton gave 4 players their Premiership debuts in Harry Doherty, Oran Jackson, Michael Ruddy and Sammie McLeod. Goalkeeper Rian Brown as well as Matt Creighton, Harry Murphy and Sam Glenfield, having been regular features for our U20s side, were named as substitutes for this evening.
Glenavon went into the fixture missing ex Portadown man Conor McCloskey following a recent recovery from injury and gave Declan Brown, Mark Haughey and Danny Wallace their first Premiership starts since joining the Lurgan side.
Glenavon had the ball in the net on two minutes when Matthew Fitzpatrick chested down a Danny Purkis header before acrobatically hitting a bicycle kick into the top right corner. It was subsequently ruled out for offside.
On 13 minutes Danny Purkis got onto the end of a ball over the top of the Portadown defence and sent a shot from the edge of the box just wide of the post.
On the 20 minute mark, Ports defender Adam McCallum reacted well to block a Peter Campbell shot from close range following a corner.
On 33 minutes, Portadown had a good opportunity when Lee Bonis headed a Stephen Teggart cross just wide of the post.
On 45 minutes Ports keeper Harry Doherty made a great save to deny a header from Glenavon captain James Singleton following a corner.
Half time score:
Glenavon had a good chance on 53 minutes when Matthew Snoddy had a close range shot saved by Harry Doherty, with Paul Finnegan blocking Peter Campbells follow up effort.
On 58 minutes Portadowns Ruairi Croskery sent a header from close range over the bar after being picked out in a good position by a Bonis cross.
As both teams fought to break the deadlock a good pass from Portadowns Ruairi Croskery found Stephen Teggart who then sent his shot from the edge of the box harmlessly wide of the post.
Croskery then went so close to breaking the deadlock on 82 minutes, Lee Bonis headed the ball over Mark Haughey to Croskery, whose subsequent header beat Glenavon keeper Brown but came off his left post and away.
On 87 minutes Glenavon had an opportunity when a Peter Campbell cross found the head of substitute Andy Waterworth who sent his effort just wide of the post.
Less than 2 minutes later Glenavon defender Wallace found Waterworth with a strong header to release the former Linfield man through on goal however his shot this time was also inches wide.
In the first of the five additional minutes of stoppage time Portadown would go in front when following a corner, a neat pass from Adam McCallum found Ruairi Croskery with abundance of space on the right side, with the winger finding Paul Finnegan who from close range stuck the ball into the back of the net to spark jubilant scenes amongst the Ports supporters.
The three points weren’t to be for Portadown however, when three minutes after Glenavon midfielder Michael O’Connor scored direct from an approx 25 yard free kick to rescue a point for the visitors.
With the last kick of the game the visitors almost had the winning goal themselves, following a corner and numerous attempts on goal Ports keeper Doherty managed to gather the ball as the full time whistle blew.
Full time score:
Portadown 1 (Finnegan 90+1)
Glenavon 1 (O’Connor 90+4)
We go again this Tuesday night away to Crusaders in the Danske Bank Premiership. You can purchase tickets at crusadersfctickets.com
Supporters bus times will be announced via our social media channels in due course.
Match Sponsor – BPS Moira
Ball Sponsor – Paul Brown
PSS Man of the Match- Sammie McLeod (Chosen by sponsor Eden Reds)
Referee – Ian McNabb
Assistant 1 – Gareth Eakin
Assistant 2 – Paul Robinson
4th official – Neil Robinson
Portadown XI (managed by Matthew Tipton) 1.Doherty (GK), 2.Hall, 3.Ruddy (booked 73’), 4.McCallum, 5.Finnegan (scorer 90+1), 8.Tipton (booked 54’), 10.Bonis (C), 12.Jackson (booked 34’), (replaced by Salley 89’), 17.Croskery, 20.Teggart, 22.McLeod
Portadown substitutes: 13.Brown (GK) (unused), 6.McKeown (unused), 9.Salley, 21.Conaty (unused), 24.Glenfield (unused), 26.Murphy (unused), 28.Creighton (unused)
Glenavon XI (managed by Gary Hamilton): 1.Brown (GK), 5.Haughey, 8.O’Connor (scorer 90+3’), 9.Purkis (replaced by Waterworth 63’), 10.Campbell, 12.Beggs (replaced by J Doyle 80’), 14.Snoddy, 19.Fitzpatrick, 23.Wallace, 27.Singleton (C), 30.Ward
Glenavon substitutes: 6.A Doyle (unused), 7.Waterworth, 11.Hall (unused), 15.Harmon (unused), 21.O’Mahony (unused), 26.J Doyle, 28.Garrett (unused)
Written by Alex Morrison.