Ronnie McFall seeking Swift resolution to Chris Casement red card furore

Mark McAllister and Ryan Harpur battle for the ball
Mark McAllister and Ryan Harpur battle for the ball

Ronnie McFall hinted that he might call on Dungannon Swifts for help in his quest to overturn Chris Casement’s controversial red card.

The full-back was sent off in the final minute of Saturday’s Mid-Ulster derby at Shamrock Park.

McFall said the referee indicated that Casement had been dismissed for a head-butt – a claim the player strongly denies.

The alleged victim, Terry Fitzpatrick, also said there was no head-butt.

Asked if Fitzpatrick’s remarks could go in their favour, McFall said: “If we can use that as evidence then we’ll have a look and see.”

McFall confirmed Portadown would be appealing the red card, but has no idea how soon the case could be heard.

As things stand Casement faces a lengthy ban, and would miss this weekend’s Irish Cup semi-final against Ballymena.

Adding to McFall’s woes was a second red card for Robert Garrett.

His dismissal was more clear-cut, for an alleged stamp on Jamie Glackin, and the midfielder is also set to miss the semi-final.

McFall felt Garrett had been unfortunate.

“With the first one the player was lying on the ball and the referee has stated that he stamped on him,” added the Ports boss.

“Garrett said that it wasn’t intentional. The man was lying on the ball – I thought he could have blown up sooner than he did.

“The second one – the linesman said that Casement head-butted Fitzpatrick.

“Our players are adamant and Fitzpatrick has said that he didn’t head-butt him.

“So we’re definitely going to appeal it.”

McFall is unsure how soon an appeal could be heard.

Asked if there was any chance of getting Casement for this weekend, he replied: “I don’t know, we’ll have to look into that.”

Away from the controversy, the game itself finished all square.

It meant the Ports weren’t able to take full advantage of Cliftonville’s slip-up as they chase a place in Europe.

They are now two points ahead of the Reds, who lost at home to Glenavon.

Dungannon took the lead after 30 minutes when Gary Liggett beat two defenders to meet a corner from Ryan Harpur and head home.

Portadown improved in the second half and levelled in the 63rd minute with Casement firing a stunning strike past Rouse.

The draw takes Dungannon a point closer to safety. They are now eight clear of the bottom two, with just six games remaining.

Manager Darren Murphy was satisfied with a point.

“If you come in and are disappointed not to win at Portadown then you’ve done pretty well,” he said.

“Over the course of the 90 minutes we gave a good account of ourselves.

“I would have taken a point before the game in the situation that we’re in, so it’s a big point for us.”