IRISH CUP: Dream debut for Adam Foley as Portadown get past stiff Larne challenge

Portadown's Adam Foley celebrates his goal against Larne
Portadown's Adam Foley celebrates his goal against Larne
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Larne played host to the Danske Banske Premiership’s basement side aiming for a Tennents Irish Cup shock built on the Championship club’s impressive home record.

Portadown's Adam Foley celebrates his goal on his debut in style

Portadown's Adam Foley celebrates his goal on his debut in style

However, Portadown enjoyed a bright start bolstered by the additions of signings Tiarnan Mulvenna and Adam Foley.

Foley looked sharp along the left and broke the deadlock on 32 minutes by flicking home a low Aaron Haire cross after good work along the right by the latter and Stephen Hughes.

Portadown had posed a threat before the opening goal when Garry Breen’s glancing header off a Brendan Shannon free-kick was cleared off the line by Michael McKenna.

Joel Madison produced an acrobatic save to claw out Foley’s angled header from a Mulvenna cross moments after the winger had kicked off his Portadown career with a spot on the scoresheet.

Portadown's Alan Byrne and Larne's Michael McKenna

Portadown's Alan Byrne and Larne's Michael McKenna

Breen was at the heart of the action and his last-gasp sliding tackle prevented James McCabe from latching on to Paul Maguire’s lofted pass at 0-0 then the Portadown centre-back pumped forward a free-kick that caught out the Larne backline, allowing Hughes to control and convert for 2-0.

Larne grabbed a lifeline late in the first half thanks to good work between Ryan Kane and Andrew Mooney, the latter on his debut following a switch from Cliftonville, with McCabe flashing a first-time shot beyond Chris McGaughey.

The second half lacked the attacking spark of the first but Larne squandered a clearcut opening to equalise on 65 minutes when Kane’s free-kick delivery was headed wide at the far post by Maguire.

Sights of goal proved limited but a superb block by Jerry Thompson prevented Mulvenna from enjoying time and space in a great position inside the box.

Larne’s hopes of keeping the tie alive suffered a blow on 77 minutes when McCabe picked up his second booking for what appeared to be dissent.

Portadown came close to cementing control with a low Foley shot but it lacked power and Madison blocked with an out-stretched leg.

LARNE: Joel Madison, Michael McKenna, Daniel Wilson, Chris Rodgers, Jerry Thompson, Ryan Kane, Emmett Templeton, Mark Hillen, James McCabe, Andrew Mooney, Paul Maguire. Subs: Kevin Bradley (Wilson, 52), Matthew Henry (Kane, 70), Michael Smith (Hillen, 36), Paul Rodgers, Brian Heggarty.

PORTADOWN: Chris McGaughey, Mark Carson, Gary Breen, Jordan Lyttle, Alan Byrne, Brendan Shannon, Sean Mackle, Adam Foley, Tiaran Mulvenna, Aaron Haire, Stephen Hughes. Subs: Conor Larkin, Matthew Parker, Zac Wilson (Mackle, 57), Marcio Soares, Callum Ferris (Haire, 82).

Referee: Evan Boyce.