Drab affair as Glentoran and Portadown draw a blank at Oval

Glentoran's Danny McKee
Glentoran's Danny McKee

GLENTORAN 0 PORTADOWN 0

This wasn’t one for the football purist.

The teams will meet again in the Irish Cup final next month, but both sets of fans will be hoping for better.

However, the result keeps Portadown on track for a European qualification place. Glentoran must rely on the May 2 showcase game of the season if they are to book their slot.

Glens boss Eddie Patterson was still without the suspended Curtis Allen and the injured Marcus Kane and Niall Henderson. The influential Stephen McAlorum returned following a two game ban, while Steven McCullough and Johnny Addis were handed starting slots.

Portadown were missing Michael Gault, Mark McAllister, Garry Breen and Chris Ramsey. Striker Darren Murray was left kicking his heels on the bench. Billy Brennan returned to replace David Miskelly, who has been carrying a hamstring problem and midfielder Robert Garrett was back from a two match ban.

Things got worse for McFall, who last defender Ken Oman and midfielder Shea Conaty before half time due to injury.

Stephen McAlorum tested Portadown goalkeeper Billy Brennan after only five minutes with a stinging drive from distance, but the visitors hit back when Peter McMahon’s cross finding the head of substitute Jordan Lyttle, whose header was beaten away by Elliott Morris.

The Ports had a great chance to forge into the lead before the break when McMahon picked up the unmarked Gary Twigg. He is usually lethal from eight yards, but this time he shot against Morris.

Glentoran upped the tempo after the break and Danny McKee just failed to get a toe to Stephen Gordon’s teasing cross.

But Brennan produced the save of the match on 55 minutes when Stephen McCullough’s cross found McKee. His header looked destined for the top corner until the agile shot stopper managed to get a glove to the ball to deflect it on to the crossbar.

Portadown really should have been in front 20 minutes from time. Chris Casement’s looping cross picked out the unmarked Twigg, but he shamefully blasted against the post

Glentoran: Morris, Garrett, Scullion, McCullough, Birney, McAlorum, Stewart, Addis, Gordon, Nelson, McKee (McCaffery 66).

Subs not used: Gray, Kerr, Calvert, Hogg.

Portadown: Brennan, Casement, Redman, O’Hara, McMahon, Mackle, Mouncey, Oman (Lyttle 6), Twigg, Conaty (Murray 38), Garrett.

Subs not used: Miskelly, Richardson, Soares.

Referee: A Davey (Bangor).