COLERAINE 0 PORTADOWN 0
Coleraine and Portadown had to make do with a share of the spoils in a goalless draw at The Showgrounds.
Goals may have been few and far between but that wasn’t the case for yellow cards with referee Arnold Hunter dishing out 11, seven to Portadown, who also picked up a red after Keith O’Hara was dismissed in the second half.
Both sides started brightly with Sean Mackle firing across goal on two minutes, while at the other end a flowing move saw new boy Mark Miskimmin tee up Joe McNeill, whose first time effort just cleared the cross bar.
Ian Parkhill tried his luck from distance on a couple occasions, while at the other end Tim Mouncey almost got on the end of a Chris Casement corner.
Debutant Miskimmin was causing the visitors a few problems with his movement, and he found himself in behind the Ports rearguard after a clever pass by Shane McGinty on 34 minutes. But the striker’s cut back was easily cleared by Casement.
Two minutes later a good cross from the right by McGinty picked out the unmarked Parkhill, but he failed to hit the target.
McGinty had David Miskelly at full stretch with a powerful shot on 39 minutes and the big stopper did well to get get up and get a foot to Ruairi Harkin’s effort off the rebound.
Mark McAllister was the first player to threaten after the break as he latched on to Darren Murray’s long throw, but Michael Doherty easily gathered his weak shot.
McAllister should have done better on 52 minutes when he found himself through on goal after Canning missed his header. But again the striker’s effort was well stopped by Doherty.
Garry Breen almost grabbed the opener with eight minutes to go but Doherty produced an excellent save to tip over his goalbound header.
The game finished in a flurry of chances with Murray and Breen having headers cleared off the line, before substitute Gary Browne flashed a volley just wide of the target with the final kick of the game.
Coleraine: Doherty, Mullan, Watt, Canning, Ogilby, McGinty, Harkin, McCafferty, McNeill (Hegarty 66), Parkhill (Browne 66), Miskimmin (Moore 90).
Subs: Douglas, Barton.
Portadown: Miskelly, Casement, Redman, O’Hara, Breen, P McMahon (Ramsey 87), Mackle, Garrett, Mouncey (Gault 65), Murray, McAllister.
Subs: Brennan, M McMahon, Soares.
Referee: A Hunter.