PORTADOWN 1 CRUSADERS 1
Crusaders and Portadown, who haven’t been playing all that well of late, played out a determined draw at Shamrock Park in the heavy mud. Two superb early goals decided it, although the Crues had a late ‘goal’ disallowed after referee Raymond Crangle gave it and then rubbed it out after consulting with the linesman.
Portadown started in overdrive when they went ahead with a cracking goal from Sean Mackle playing in his 150th match. Peter McMahon laid on a great pass and Mackle thundered it home from twenty yards into the top corner.
The Crues answered on ten minutes through Paul Heatley. He collected a pass from Eamon McAllister and ran fifteen yards before hammering hard and low past David Miskelly.
Both teams came close after that when Paul Heatley should have chipped Miskelly but his shot was far too low and just before the break McMahon curved the ball towards the Crues’ goal but the ball thumped against the upright.
Right on the half time whistle Crusaders’ Captain Colin Coates was substituted after he collided with the Ports’ goal frame.
Each side almost scored just after the break when Crues’ keeper Sean O’Neill saved brilliantly from a Chris Casement free and Ports’ striker Darren Murray headed a Joshua Robinson effort off his own line.
The disallowed goal was netted by Paul Leeman and the draw was a fair result for both sides.
PORTADOWN: Miskelly, Casement, O’Hara, Ramsey, Breen, Mackle, Murray, McMahon, Mouncey, McCafferty, O’Connor. Subs- Brennan, McStay, Barton (for O’Connor 32), Friars, Rooney.
CRUSADERS: O’Neill, Leeman, Magowan, Coates, McLean, Robinson, E. McAllister, Morrow, Caddell, Heatley, Owens. Subs- Cleary, Snoddy (for Coates 45), McMaster, D. McAllister (for Snoddy 86), McCutcheon (for E McAllister 62).
Referee- Raymond Crangle