Portadown are back in Danske Bank Premiership action on Saturday afternoon (Sat 18 March) when they take on Crusaders at Shamrock Park, kick off 3pm.
Crusaders come into the game on the back of 2-2 draw with Cliftonville on Monday evening while Portadown scored two goals in injury time to secure a 4-3 win over Newry City AFC..
The last time the two clubs met was back in October 2022 with Crusaders running out 4-0 winners at Seaview thanks to a brace from Adam Lecky and further goals from McCauley Snelgrove and Jude Winchester. The last time the two sides met at Shamrock Park was back in January 2022 with a 90th minute Ben Kennedy goal sealing all 3 points for Stephen Baxter’s men in what was Paul Doolin’s first game as manager.
Crusaders come into the game in good league form with only 1 defeat in their last 11 games in all competitions and currently sit in 5th position, 11 points behind league leaders Larne.
Crusaders have won 12 out of the last 14 meetings between the two clubs in all competitions with Paul Heatley scoring 6 in his last 8 appearances for Crusaders against the Ports while Philip Lowry has 4 in his last 6 games against Portadown at Seaview. For the Ports last victory over the men from the Shore Road you have to go back to the opening day of the 2015/16 season when two Darren Murray goals sealed all 3 points for Ronnie McFall’s men at Seaview.
The officials are – Referee – Tony Clarke / Assistant 1 – Stephen Donaldson / Assistant 2 – Stephen Bell / 4th official – Lee Tavinder
Portadown manager Niall Currie had the below preview for supporters
We know exactly what we’re going to be facing in Crusaders, we’re going to be facing a top team and top players, full time players. We will always focus on making sure we’re at our levels and trying to be at our levels, which we weren’t against Carrick Rangers but thankfully we seen the spirit and everything we had against Newry City AFC so we’ve got to into this game believing in ourselves and knowing if we’re right we can be really competitive with a lot of teams in this league.
We want to make sure the Crues know they’ve been in a game, and to a certain degree we’re always going to be reliant on full time teams having a bad day at the office but it’s also our responsibility to make sure we don’t give them a free ride and we make it as difficult as we possibly can and that’s the plan. We’ll be focusing on ourselves and making sure we’re at our own levels but bits of magic from top Premiership players like Heatley, Clarke, Ebbe, Lecky and Lowry, you can’t do things about that and we know that however if we’re right and make sure we’re right we can be competitive with them, again as I’ve said, we’re certainly reliant on them having an off day but we’ve got to make them have an off day and that’s what we’ll focus on.
Unfortunately I think we’ll be without Eoghan McCawl for Saturday which is a huge blow, he’s been sensational the last few games and it’s a big big loss to us but thankfully we welcome back Luke Wilson, Luke’s ready to go again.
MATCH SPONSORS – I.M.O Terence Pentland | Taylor Group
MATCH BALL SPONSOR – H.Beattie & son
PSS MAN OF THE MATCH SPONSOR – Alex Jackson
BUCKET COLLECTION & COMMUNITY GUESTS – G.L.E.E (A support group for adults with learning disabilities & connected with Richhill Presbyterian Church)
Form (LAST FIVE PREMIERSHIP GAMES – MOST RECENT GAME LAST)
- Portadown – L, W, W, L, W (12th in DBP)
- Crusaders – W, D, W, D, D (5th in DBP)
Last Five Head to Head (All competitions)
- Saturday 22 October 2023 – Crusaders 4 (Lecky x2, Snelgrove, Winchester) Portadown 0
- Tuesday 23 August 2022 – Crusaders 2 (Lowry, McMurray) Portadown 1 (Jenkins)
- Tuesday 25 January 2022 – Portadown 0 Crusaders 1 (Kennedy)
- Tuesday 30 November 2021 – Crusaders 2 (Heatley, Lowry) Portadown 0
- Tuesday 31 August 2021 – Crusaders 4 (Heatley, McMurray, Burns, Kennedy) Portadown 0
Last Five Head to Head at Shamrock Park (All competitions)
- Tuesday 25 January 2022 – Portadown 0 Crusaders 1 (Kennedy)
- Tuesday 30 March 2021 – Portadown 1 (Salley) Crusaders 2 (Wilson, Owens)
- Tuesday 26 January 2021 – Portadown 2 (McCallum, Bonis) Crusaders 2 (Caddell, Heatley)
- Saturday 25 February 2017 – Portadown 1 (Soares) Crusaders 1 (Owens)
- Saturday 12 November 2016 – Portadown 0 Crusaders 1 (Whyte)
We Are Ports TV LIVE will have live coverage of the game against Crusaders, the live stream is available at a cost of £10 and can be purchased and viewed via https://portstv.com/
Online tickets for the game are available via https://tickets.portadownfc.co.uk/fixtures. While online tickets for matches still remain, a cash gate is also available (except in the event where a game has sold out online in advance of the game). We would add however that purchasing your ticket online is the quickest and most convenient way to secure your seat for games and would still actively encourage supporters to avail of the facility. Portadown FC also operate a ‘Kid for a Quid’ scheme which sees any child U16 admitted to the game for £1 when accompanied by a paying adult – up to 3 U16s with any one paying adult.
A reminder about the Ports Hub facility at games at Shamrock Park which give you match info, player stats and exclusive interviews. To access the Ports Hub simply scan the QR code placed on every other seat’s backrest at Shamrock Park (as well as in the clubrooms) and you will give brought to a host of great content, think of it as your digital matchday programme!
With more families and community / youth groups visiting Shamrock Park on match days, the club has decided to re-launch our FAMILY AND COMMUNITY AREA. BLOCK B in the home stand has been designated as this area, a traditionally slightly quieter block and further away from opposition supporters. We recognise that football matches are noisy and passionate experiences for players and fans alike but we would also like children, families and community visitors of mixed abilities and needs to feel comfortable when they visit a match, for some, their very first football match.
Guidelines for supporters sitting in Block B will be clearly displayed at the front of that area and we encourage all patrons in the block to follow them:
- PLEASE BE AWARE OF THOSE AROUND YOU.
- PLEASE USE APPROPRIATE LANGUAGE.
- BE POSITIVE TOWARDS PEOPLE ON THE PITCH.