Portadown were defeated 3-2 by Larne on Saturday afternoon in the Danske Bank Premiership at Shamrock Park.

Portadown made 3 changes from Tuesday nights defeat to Crusaders, with Nathan Kerr, Oisin Conaty and Adam Salley coming on for Michael Ruddy, George Tipton and Paul Finnegan.

Larne, who were in action for the first time since their 4-2 win against Coleraine on 28th August, saw 4 changes from last weeks fixture, with Albert Watson, Lee Lynch, Ronan Hale and Andy Mitchell replacing Kofi Balmer, John Herron, Jeff Hughes and David McDaid.

On 3 minutes, Larnes Ben Doherty had an effort from around 35 yards caught with relative ease by his Portadown namesake Harry Doherty between the sticks.

On 7 minutes, Larne would have the opening goal of the afternoon when full back Dean Jarvis headed the ball into the back of the net from a corner to make it 1-0.

On 9 minutes, Tomas Cosgrove from the left side picked out Ronan Hale in the box whose shot from close range was blocked by Ports defender Oran Jackson.

On 14 minutes, good work down the right side from Oisin Conaty saw his cross cleared into the path of Stephen Teggart who sent his shot well over the bar.

On 16 minutes, Ben Doherty on the left side found space to run into after a pass from Mark Randall with the former Coleraine man then having his attempted shot blocked by Adam McCallum.

On 20 minutes, Adam Salley had an opportunity through a free kick from around 25-30 yards that failed to trouble Larne keeper Ferguson.

On 21 minutes Ben Doherty picked up a pass from Hale, before having a shot on the volley sail just over the bar in what was a good opportunity for the visitors to double their lead.

On 27 minutes it was 2-0. Larnes Mark Randall, who had found space just inside the box sent a lob over Harry Doherty after receiving the ball from former Linfield man Nasseri on the right side.

On 39 minutes, Ronan Hale latched onto an under hit back pass from Oran Jackson before being denied a goal from a good Harry Doherty save.

On 42 minutes, Adam Salley had a cross from the far right side come off the top post in what could have potentially been a good opportunity.

Half time score:
Portadown 0
Larne 2 (Jarvis 7’, Randall 27’)

Into the 57th minute Portadown had a penalty appeal waved away by the officials after Ports players had appealed that the ball made contact with the hand of Andy Mitchell in the process of him dispossessing Oisin Conaty in the box.

On 60 minutes, Ronan Hale forced Ports keeper Doherty in to a low save to deny his first time effort from a Tomas Cosgrove pass into the box.

On 63 minutes Harry Doherty was called into action again, this time denying a header from Ronan Hale following a long diagonal ball from Ben Doherty.

Portadown would then pull a goal back on 66 minutes when a deep Sam Warde delivery was spilled by Larne keeper Ferguson to the path of Ruairi Croskery who hooked the ball into the far corner of the net.

Following the goal, Portadown very much piled on the pressure for an equaliser, and on 79 minutes, substitute Warde had a free kick from around 25 yards out just wide of the post.

Going into the last ten minutes, Ports keeper Doherty made a great save to deny Andy Scott from close range in what was a great opportunity for the substitute.

On the 88th minute Andy Scott found himself through on goal following Lee Lynch intercepting Paul Finnegans headed clearance with Scott having his curling shot denied by a diving Doherty save.
Ports defender Adam McCallum then prevented Larnes third after clearing shots from both Navid Nasseri and Andy Scott off the line in a great defensive display with Greg Hall getting in on the clearance act himself to head Scott’s follow up effort off the line also.

The 92nd minute would see Larne extend their lead to 3-1 when Thomas Oluwas shot was parried by Ports keeper Doherty into the path of Lee Lynch who tapped into an empty net. Ports players and fans were appealing that Lynch was in an offside position however the goal was awarded by the officials.

In the 94th minute Portadown would reduce Larnes lead back to 1 when an unmarked Greg Hall met a ball from Oisin Conaty to tap past the keeper for his first goal of the season and second in a Portadown shirt with his last coming on the 24th August 2019 in a 2-0 win over H&W Welders.

Full time score:
Portadown 2 (Croskery 66’,Hall 90+4)
Larne 3 (Jarvis 8’, Randall 27’, L Lynch 90+2)

Larne XI (managed by Tiernan Lynch): 34.Ferguson (GK) (replaced by Argyrides 69’), 4.Watson, 7.Nasseri, 8.Randall (C) (replaced by Scott 77’) (scorer 27’), 9.Hale (replaced by Oluwa 81’), 11.B Doherty, 16.L Lynch (scorer 90+2’), 17.Mitchell, 18.Bolger (booked 84’), 23.Cosgrove, 26.Jarvis (scorer 8’)

Larne substitutes: 13.Argyrides (GK), 12.Oluwa, 14.Scott, 32.Greer (unused), 33.Adair (unused), 36.Aretzis (unused), 38.C Donnelly (unused)

Portadown XI (managed by Matthew Tipton): 1.Doherty (GK), 2.Hall (scorer 90+4’), 4.McCallum, 9.Salley (replaced by Warde 55’), 10.Bonis (C) (booked 61’), 12.Jackson (replaced by Finnegan 74’), 14.Conaty, 15.Kerr, 17.Croskery (scorer 66’), 20.Teggart, 22.McLeod (booked 84’)

Portadown substitutes: 19.Barr (GK) (unused), 5.Finnegan, 8.Tipton (unused), 23.Warde, 25.Jordan (unused)

Match Officials
Referee – Lee Tavinder
Assistant 1 – John Doherty
Assistant 2 – Bogdan Sfirloaga
4th official – Louise Thompson

PSS MOTM: Oisin Conaty (chosen by sponsor Eden Reds)

Match Sponsor – Four Star Pizza

Match Ball Sponsor – David Berry

Written by Alex Morrison.