Coleraine boss Oran Kearney can see the clouds starting to clear

Portadown's Tim Mouncey battles with Coleraine's Craig Moore

Portadown's Tim Mouncey battles with Coleraine's Craig Moore

  • by Victor Gordon

Portadown and Coleraine ended up fighting for different goals after this battle in the high winds.

The Ports moved up to number four, with Europe the club’s minimum requirement.

And the Bannsiders are just one spot – two points - above the danger zone.

Coleraine boss Oran Kearney landed the kiss-of-death vote of confidence from his chairman, before this, their sixth straight defeat in their campaign.

But he, in turn, gave his players a vote of confidence.

“The first three defeats in this run did them no credit whatever,” he commented.

“The spirit simply wasn’t there. But they are turning it round. Last week’s 3-2 reverse against Linfield was tough luck, with the Blues hitting the winner in added time.

“And we really tested Portadown in the second-half. If David Ogilby’s header had gone in just after the break, instead of shaving the upright, this would have been a different game.”

Portadown led 2-0 at the interval, with the wind at their backs, and with Chris Ramsey and Gary Twigg the men on target. Ramsey’s ninth minute header from a Chris

Casement corner was his first of the season, and topped a super performance where he and fellow central stopper Keith O’Hara were simply magnificent.

Twigg’s goal on 22 minutes was a gem. When Coleraine defender Steven Douglas failed to cut out an up-field punt by Ports’ keeper David Miskelly, the striker nipped in, beat custodian Wayne Drummond to the ball, and dinked a sublime effort over him into the net.

Ports boss Ronnie McFall commented, “Few strikers in Ireland could have scored that one. But it typifies Gary and it shows the spirit Portadown have re-discovered in the past few weeks.

“We’ve recorded four wins and a draw in our last five matches, and we’ll be going all out to continue that run.”

Still, Coleraine didn’t have the best of luck when they had the help of the second-half wind. They found Miskelly at his best, with a succession of saves from Eoin Bradley, Gareth Tommons, Stephen Carson and Joel Bradley, who also thumped the underside of the crossbar with virtually the last kick of the match.

Ports club captain Keith O’Hara, in his first game back from a broken metatarsal in his foot, commented: “It was always going to be a tough match. They really came at us after the break, when they enjoyed more of the possession. But we held firm – that’s our third consecutive clean sheet.”

It was the 28th game in a row where Coleraine failed to record a clean sheet.

Kearney admitted, “The two goals we conceded were, I’m afraid, the result of poor defending.

“We’re working on that.”




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