IRISH LEAGUE: Interim Portadown boss Pat McGibbon admits late defeat is bitter pill to swallow

Sean Mackle and Rodney Brown
Sean Mackle and Rodney Brown

Interim Portadown boss Pat McGibbon admitted Saturday’s late defeat to Coleraine was a bitter pill to swallow.

One week on from Ronnie McFall’s shock exit from Shamrock Park, the Ports’ disappointing season continued as Rodney Brown’s goal 10 minutes from time earned the Bannsiders a 1-0 win.

The game seemed poised for stalemate until Brown was handed a routine finish to claim maximum points for the visitors.

“It is a tough one to take – losing so late in the game,” McGibbon said.

“We had to go with a young team today, but their effort and commitment was there.

“I think some of the lads tired near the end and it took its toll in the end. It is something we will need to look into.

“There was nothing in the game for the first 65 to 70 minutes. But the last 20 minutes we started defending a lot deeper, and the goal we conceded was poor. That was disappointing because we had defended well up until then.

“But we certainly got a reaction from the players, in terms of effort. We had a lot of experienced players missing today, so we knew how tough a game it would be.”

Coleraine boss Oran Kearney added: “It was a strange game at times. The first 20 minutes felt like a pre-season game. After 29 years of Ronnie McFall being here, it was always going to be different.

“But we found a way ton win. We kept a clean sheet and managed to get a late goal. So it was pleasing that the players kept fighting to the end.”