On Saturday, Portadown drew 2-2 with Carrick Rangers in what can be described very much as a game of two halves at Shamrock Park.
Portadown made 2 changes from Tuesday nights extra time defeat to Cliftonville, with Michael Ruddy and Chris Lavery replacing Nathan Kerr and Adam Salley.
Carrick Rangers also made 2 changes from their 0-0 draw with Coleraine last Saturday, with Neil Shields and Reece Glendinning replacing Aaron Hogg and Daniel Kelly in the starting line up.
On 7 minutes, Carrick keeper Neil Shields was on hand to deny efforts from Chris Lavery and George Tipton in quick succession.
A minute or so later, Lavery found himself clean through on goal, however Shields was on hand to neutralise the attack.
On 10 minutes, Portadown would go a goal in front when Michael Ruddy headed a Reece Jordan cross into the top corner of the net.
On 12 minutes, the visitors almost got themselves on level terms when Emmett McGuckins close range shot was saved by Jethren Barr.
On 22 minutes, Lloyd Andersons flick on from the left side of the box failed to trouble the Portadown goal.
On 31 minutes, a long range effort from Carricks Ben Tilney was gathered by Jethren Barr.
On 33 minutes, it would be 2-0 to Portadown when Oisin Conatys low shot from the edge of the box was spilled by Carrick keeper Shields, trickling through his legs and into the back of the net in a moment to forget for the keeper.
On 38 minutes, a long range free kick from Lee Bonis was saved by Neil Shields in the Carrick Rangers goal.
Half time score:
Portadown 2 (Ruddy 11’, Conaty 33’)
Carrick Rangers 0
On 47 minutes, an unmarked David Cushley had a header wide of the post from a corner.
On 52 minutes, Portadown missed a huge opportunity to put the game to bed, when Chris Lavery picked out Lee Bonis in a great position, however he couldn’t connect cleanly with his effort.
In the final quarter of the game, the visitors were pushing hard to get back into the game, and on 66 minutes, Jordan Gibson had an effort from an Alex Gawne cross go inches wide of the post.
On 71 minutes, the visitors would have a goal back when Ben Tilneys low cross hit the back of the net via Lloyd Anderson and to make it 2-1.
On 75 minutes, Anderson curled an effort from the edge of the box over the bar.
As Carrick pressed for their equaliser, it would come in the 89th minute from a Jordan Gibson header from a corner meaning the game would end honours even at 2-2.
Full time score:
Portadown 2 (Ruddy 11’, Conaty 33’)
Carrick Rangers 2 (Anderson 71’, Gibson 89’)
Next Saturday we are away to Dungannon Swifts in the Danske Bank Premiership. The game will kick off at 3pm.
Referee – Andrew Davey
Assistant 1 – Gareth Eakin
Assistant 2 – Ken Ross
4th official – Ben McMaster
Match Sponsor – Sure Recruitment
Match Ball Sponsor– Ryan Harkness & Darren Winters
PSS Man of the Match: Michael Ruddy (Chosen by sponsors Terence & Kim Pentland)
Portadown XI: (managed by Matthew Tipton): 19.Barr (GK), 2.Hall, 3.Ruddy (scorer 11’), 4.McCallum, 5.Finnegan, 7.Lavery, 8.Tipton (replaced by E Teggart 34’), 10.Bonis (C), 14.Conaty (scorer 33’), 22.McLeod, 25.Jordan
Portadown substitutes: 1.Doherty (GK) (unused), 18.McNally (unused), 20.S Teggart (unused), 23.Warde, 26.Murphy (unused), 27.Wood (unused), 36.E Teggart (replaced by Warde 79’)
Carrick Rangers XI (managed by Stuart King): 38.Shields (GK), 2.Forsythe, 5.Ervin, 9.McGuckin (C) (replaced by Gawne 46’), 12.E Kelly, 16.Mullholland, 20.Cherry (booked 38’), 23.Glendinning (replaced by Cushley 46’, booked 50’), 24.Gibson (scorer 89’), 39.Tilney, 42.Anderson (scorer 71’)
Carrick Rangers substitutes: 1.Skeet (unused), 7.Cushley, 11.Gawne, 14.Kalla (unused), 19.McGimpsey (unused), 25.Hoy (unused), 27.Quinn (unused)
Written by Alex Morrison.