PLAYERS bearing the christian name of Ross were being toasted in Portadown and the Faroe Islands last night as Irish League clubs won second leg European ties.
At Shamrock Park, Ross Redman ensured history would repeat itself for Portadown when he bagged a late winner and secure a 2-1 victory over FK Shkendija.
The last time the Ports had won a tie in Europe was in 1974 when a 2-0 win over Valur from Iceland was recorded.
Among the goalscorers that night was Redman’s uncle and another promising left back, Ronnie McFall, the long serving manager of Portadown.
Richard Lecky had put Portadown on level terms after they had given away a third minute goal.
Redman then saw his speculative 50 yard freekick dropped into the net by the Shkendija keeper.
It was enough to ensure a 2-1 home win on aggregate and a second round tie against Croatian side, Slaven Belupo Koprivnica.
Hero Redman admitted afterwards: “I simply pumped in the free-kick with the view to confusing their defence.
“They didn’t particularly like the high ball into the middle and I didn’t even see it going in.
But when I heard the crowd roar I realised the keeper had dropped it in and it was a brilliant feeling to score the winner in such an important game.
“It’s only my second competitive goal for Portadown and it was a great result which we thoroughly deserved.
“We realised their keeper wasn’t the best ever to come to Shamrock park and big Richard Lecky really put him under pressure after the interval and deserved his goal which put us level”
Manager McFall added: “We thoroughly deserved this result over the 90 minutes and frankly we missed three great chances in the first half but managed to convert them after the interval. Okay, Ross’ goal had an element of luck about it but we had decided to pump high balls in because their defence simply couldn’t deal with them.
“It was a superb team effort and our three new signings fitted in well. You have to realise that this is a full-time professional team and our great performance in Macedonia set up this victory”
Meanwhile, in the Faroe Islands, it was Linfield’s rookie goalkeeper, Ross Glendinning who emerged the hero as the Blues progressed to the second round of qualifying in the Champions League, 4-3 on penalties.
“I’m so proud of the players,” beamed Blues boss David Jeffrey. “We knew it was going to be a tough night, but everyone of the boys stood up to the challenge.
“We had enough chances over the game two games, but we got there in the end.
“Young Ross Glendinning performed superbly well over the two matches. He’ll remember this night for a long time.
“It’s not only a great result for Linfield Football Club, but for the Irish League in general.”
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