Portadown were defeated 4-0 by Crusaders on Tuesday night at Seaview in the Danske Bank Premiership. Paul Heatley, Johnny McMurray, Billy Joe Burns and Ben Kennedy were amongst the goalscorers for the home side.
Robbie Weir and Jordan Owens came into the Crusaders side this evening replacing Gary Thompson and Adam Lecky from their 2-0 defeat to Linfield on Saturday.
Portadown named an unchanged starting line up from Friday nights draw with Glenavon, with Isaac Baird and Reece Jordan replacing Sam Glenfield and Barney McKeown on the bench.
On 4 minutes, the home side had a good opportunity when Paul Heatley capitalised on a defensive mix up between Adam McCallum and Paul Finnegan which allowed the forward through on goal, however ex Crues keeper Harry Doherty gathered his effort with relative ease.
Soon after a crisp pass from Jarlaith O’Rourke found Ben Kennedy, whose curled effort from just inside the box was gathered by Ports keeper Harry Doherty.
On 29 minutes Portadown had an opportunity, when following a good run down the right side from Stephen Teggart the midfielder found Sammie McLeod at the edge of the box with a pass however the Englishman’s shot failed to hit the target.
On 32 minutes Crusaders would have the opening goal of the evening, when Paul Heatley headed a Declan Caddell ball past Harry Doherty to make it 1-0 and to open his account for the season.
On 43 minutes Portadown had an opportunity when Stephen Teggart teed up Oran Jackson on the volley, with his shot saved by Jonathan Tuffey in the Crusaders goal.
Minutes later Portadowns Ruairi Croskery had an attempted shot blocked by Josh Robinson, that then fell into the path of Ports defender Greg Hall, who could only send his subsequent effort well over the bar.
Half time score:
Crusaders 1 (Heatley 32’)
Into the second half on 51 minutes Portadown striker Lee Bonis had an attempt from long range fail to trouble Jonathan Tuffey in the Crusaders goal.
On 56 minutes the home side doubled their lead when Johnny McMurray tapped a Ben Kennedy cross into the net to make it 2-0.
On 59 minutes Paul Finnegan headed a George Tipton corner over the bar in what was a good chance to pull a goal back for the men in yellow and red.
On 61 minutes Crusaders would extend their lead when a deep ball into the box from Robbie Weir was headed into the path of defender Billy Joe Burns, whose looping header went over Harry Doherty to make it 3-0.
Five minutes later it would be 4-0, this time a low shot from Ben Kennedy hit the back of the net to get the former Stevenage man on the scoresheet.
On the 75th minute manager Matthew Tipton handed 17 year old defender Harry Murphy his first senior league appearance coming off the bench to replace Adam McCallum.
As the game drew to a close Portadown duo Lee Bonis and Adam Salley both had efforts blocked by Crusaders Daniel Larmour following a corner on the 82nd minute.
On the 89th minute Adam Salley had a free kick from just outside the box tipped past the post by Crusaders keeper Tuffey.
The home almost had goal number five in stoppage time when a shot from distance from Johnny McMurray rattled the post after a bombing run by the former Larne man.
Full time score:
Crusaders 4 (Heatley 32’, McMurray 56’, Burns 61’, Kennedy 66’)
Our next game is this Saturday 4th September when we take on Larne at Shamrock Park. Kick off will be 3pm and you can purchase your tickets at https://tickets.portadownfc.co.uk/fixtures/
Referee – Andrew Davey
Assistant 1 – Andrew Nethery
Assistant 2 – Adam Jeffrey
4th official – Tim Marshall
Crusaders XI (managed by Stephen Baxter): 33.Tuffey (GK), 2.Burns (C) (scorer 61’), 6.Weir, 8.Kennedy (scorer 66’), 10.Frazer, 12.Caddell, 15.O’Rourke, 18.Owens, 20.Larmour, 22.Heatley (scorer 32’), (replaced by McMurray 46’), 24.Robinson
Crusaders substitutes: 3.Hegarty (unused), 9.Lecky (unused), 11.Doyle (unused), 21.Thompson (unused), 26.Holland (unused), 27.McMurray (scorer 56’), 36.Shields (GK) (unused)
Portadown XI (managed by Matthew Tipton) 1.Doherty (GK), 2.Hall, 3.Ruddy, 4.McCallum (replaced by Murphy 75’), 5.Finnegan, 8.Tipton (replaced by Conaty 78’), 10.Bonis (C), 12.Jackson, (replaced by Salley 62’), 17.Croskery, 20.Teggart, 22.McLeod
Portadown substitutes: 13.Brown (GK) (unused), 9.Salley, 14.Conaty, 25.Jordan (unused), 26.Murphy, 28.Creighton (unused), 30.Baird (unused)
Written by Alex Morrison.