Murray levels for Ports after Scullion opener

Portadown's Darren Murray celebrates his equaliser against Glentoran at the Oval last night. Picture: Russell Pritchard / Presseye
Portadown's Darren Murray celebrates his equaliser against Glentoran at the Oval last night. Picture: Russell Pritchard / Presseye

Portadown striker Darren Murray plundered his third goal of the season to rescue a point in his Danske Premier League bore at the Oval.

Little David Scullion shot the Glens into an early lead, but Murray held his nerve from the spot before the break to level.

That was as good as it got for both teams. Even though they both had opportunities to win it, they lacked a cutting edge on front of goal.

It’s a game that will not live long in the memory, although the Ports will perhaps be the happier of the two.

The Glens got off to a dream start, forging into the lead on 15 minutes.

Fra McCaffrey’s lost drive brought a great response from David McMiskelly, but Scullion pounced to ram home the rebound.

Earlier it was Ronnie McFall’s men who threatened to break the deadlock. Former Linfield duo Mark McAllister and Chris Casement combined on the right but goalkeeper Aaron Hogg was quickly off his line to smuggle the defender’s cross, with Sean Mackle ready to pounce.

Robert Garrett, another ex-Windsor Park favourite, and Peter McMahon then carved out an opening for McAllister, who had the ball whipped off his toe by defender Calum Birney.

After McCaffrey’s breakthrough, Hogg, who was in sensational form against Crusaders at the weekend, produced another smart save on 23 minutes, diving to his left to clutch a Garry Breen header.

Big Casement was guilty of a horrible miss three minutes when the quick feet of McAllister left the Glens defence in a tizzy only for the defender to roll his shot wide.

The Glens retaliated with McCaffrey breaking down the left and crossing for Curtis Allen, but the alert Ross Redman tidied up.

Hogg produced another marvellous piece of action seven minutes from the break when he dived high to his right to keep out a stinging Peter McMahon volley, that had goal written all ovver it.

Portadown at last drew level two minutes later. McAllister was hauled down by the out-stretched boot of Calum Birney and referee Andrew Davey immediately pointed to the spot.

Murray gobbled up his third league of the season, with a booming effort that almost ripped out the net.

Portadown went in search of a second goal and McAllister was only inches away from providing it, picking up a Murray cross before crashing his shot just past..

The home team responded. The dangerous Allen burst into the Ports box before crossing for Scullion, whose volley was brilliantly beaten away by Miskelly.

Little Garrett almost won it in the last minute but his stinging drive was again brilliantly repelled by Hogg.

Glentroan; Hogg, Kane, McCaffrey (Stewart 90), Birney, Magee, Scullion, Howland (Gordon 78), Allen (McKee 81), McAlorum, Nelson, Holland.

Subs: Addis, O’Hanlon.

Portadown: Miskelly, Casement, Redman, Ramsey, Breen, P McMahon, Mackle (Conaty 66), Murray, McAllister, Gault (Mouncey 64), Garrett.

Subs: Brennan, M McMahon, Soares.

Referee: A Davey (Bangor).