Portadown drew 2-2 with Larne on Saturday afternoon in an entertaining game at Shamrock Park that could have been won by either side.
Portadown made two changes from last Saturdays defeat to Dungannon Swifts with George Tipton and Sam Warde replacing Paul Finnegan and Chris Lavery in the starting line up.
The visitors would make four changes from their 3-1 defeat to Coleraine last weekend, with Dean Jarvis, Lee Lynch Hale and Andrew Scott replacing Graham Kelly, Navid Nasseri, David McDaid and Fuad Sule in the starting line up.
On 2 minutes, Larnes Andrew Scott had a curling effort from outside of the box saved by Jethren Barr.
On 3 minutes, a great ball from Ben Doherty picked out Ronan Hale, with Jethren Barr saving well from close range.
On 7 minutes, a precise through ball from the visitors found Ronan Hale to put the striker clean through on goal, however Jethren Barr was equal to his effort and saved.
Following Hales attack, Portadown would go up the other end and open the scoring on 8 minutes when Lee Bonis picked out Adam Salley on the right side, whose shot hit the back of the net with Larne keeper Ferguson getting a hand on the number 9s shot.
On 13 minutes, Ben Doherty would have a powerful long range effort saved with relative ease by Jethren Barr in the Portadown goal.
Larne would have an opportunity to level the game from the spot on 19 minutes, when referee Tim Marshall adjudged that Michael Ruddy fouled Andy Scott in the penalty area. Ronan Hale would convert from the spot to make it 1-1.
On 27 minutes, Adam Salley picked out Lee Bonis, whose stinging shot from range forced a good save from Rohan Ferguson.
On 28 minutes, John Herron would have a shot from the edge of the box sail over the bar.
On 32 minutes, a curling volleyed effort from Ronan Hale was saved by Jethren Barr.
Half time score:
Portadown 1 (Salley 7’)
Larne 1 (Hale 21’)
On 46 minutes, Mark Randall had a strong volley from distance gathered by Jethren Barr.
On 56 minutes, Ronan Hale would force a magnificent diving save from Jethren Barr after having a curling effort which looked destined for the top corner.
On 66 minutes, a crucial block from Gregg Hall denied Larnes Andy Scott the opportunity to convert a dangerous cross at the far post.
On 69 minutes, Portadown would take the lead again following good work from Oisin Conaty to block a defensive clearance into the path of Adam Salley, who hit a powerful shot into the bottom left corner from a tight angle.
The game saw a lengthy stoppage in the 82nd minute after John Herron went down. The midfielder was taken to Hospital as a precaution. All at the club wish him a speedy recovery.
On 88 minutes, Larne would have the equaliser, when Michael Ruddys attempted clearance only went as far as Ronan Hale, whose subsequent cross was headed into the roof of the net by substitute David McDaid.
On the 91st minute, Larne defender Kofi Balmer had a dipping shot sail over the bar following a corner.
The visitors very nearly won the game themselves on the 92nd minute when Ben Doherty had a shot cannon off the crossbar, with the former Coleraine man and substitute Navid Nasseri having follow up efforts go close.
Portadown went close themselves on the 95th minute when a Sam Warde ball found the head of Lee Bonis whose effort just missed the target.
Our next game is this Tuesday night when we travel to Seaview to take on Crusaders in the Danske Bank Premiership. Kick off will be at 7:45pm.
Full time score:
Portadown 2 (Salley 7’, 69’)
Larne 2 (Hale 20’, McDaid 88’)
PSS Man of the Match: Adam Salley (chosen by sponsor Dennis Davison Christmas Trees)
Assistant 1 – Andrew Nethery
Assistant 2 – Adam Jeffrey
4th official – Mark Dillon
Portadown XI (managed by Matthew Tipton): 19.Barr (booked 90+2), 2.Hall, 3.Ruddy, 4.McCallum, 8.Tipton (booked 44’) (replaced by McKeown 56’), 9.Salley (scorer 7’, 69’), 10.Bonis (C), 14.Conaty, 22.McLeod, 23.Warde, 25.Jordan
Portadown substitutes: 1.Doherty (GK) (unused), 6.McKeown, 7.Lavery (unused), 24.Glenfield (unused), 36.E Teggart (unused)
Larne XI (managed by Tiernan Lynch): 34.Ferguson (GK), 2.Balmer, 6.Herron (replaced by Sule 87’), 8.Randall, 9.Hale (scorer 20’), 11.Doherty, 14.Scott (replaced by McDaid 68’, scorer 88’), 16.Lynch (replaced by Nasseri 79’), 18.Bolger, 23.Cosgrove (C), 26.Jarvis
Larne substitutes: 13.Argyrides (GK) (unused), 3.Kelly (unused), 4.Watson (unused), 5.Sule, 7.Nasseri, 10.McDaid (scorer 88’), 12.Oluwa (unused)
Written by Alex Morrison.