CRUSADERS 1 PORTADOWN 0
Crusaders cut Cliftonville’s lead at the top of the Danske Bank Premiership to six points following Tuesday’s win over Portadown.
Gareth McKeown scored the only goal of the game to seal a 1-0 victory at Seaview.
McKeown fired home five minutes from time to help the Shore Road men rein in leaders Cliftonville.
Battling Portadown were reduced to 10 men with the dismissal for Keith O’Hara, just seconds before McKeown lit up Seaview with a cracking drive.
Portadown thought they had broken the deadlock earlier when Tim Mouncy headed home a Ross Redman corner kick, but referee Alan Black spotted an infringement and awarded the Crues a free kick, leaving Ports boss Ronnie McFall fuming.
O’Hara was dismissed on 84 minutes for a second bookable offence – and Crusders took immediate advantage. Heatley wriggled his way to the bye-line and his cut-back was lashed into the roof of the net by McKeown.
Owens should have made it two seconds later, but his shot cannoned back off a post before substitute David Rainey hoofed his a drive wide when it looked easier to score.
Crusaders: O’Neill, McKeown, Magowan, Coates, Robinson, Caddell (Rainey 82), McCutcheon (Watson 92), McClean, Owens, Snoddy (Morrow 73), Heatley.
Subs: Leeman, Miitchell.
Portadown: Miskelly, Mackle (R Burns 82), Redman, O’Hara, Ramsey, Braniff, Mouncey, McNeill, Casement, Leckey, Gartland.
Subs: McArdle, McEllan, A Burns, Patton.
Referee: A Black.