Skipper Michael Gault seals points for Portadown against Institute

Portadown's Michael Gault celebrates scoring a late winner against Institute at Shamrock Park
Portadown's Michael Gault celebrates scoring a late winner against Institute at Shamrock Park

PORTADOWN 2 INSTITUTE 1

A stunning goal by Captain Michael Gault in the dying minutes gave Portadown three vital points that keep them in touch with League pace setters Crusaders and Linfield.

He smashed home the goal of the season so far on 90 minutes against an Institute side which is fighting for it’s life at the wrong end of the table and the Drumahoe men will be cursing their luck after this brave performance.

Portadown got off to a dream start courtesy of a super strike by Sean Mackle. It was laid on by a long throw-in from Darren Murray, Michael Gault headed it on and Mackle smashed the ball into the top corner from just inside the box.

Institute almost answered immediately when a penetrating move saw Mark Forker get in behind the defence but Chris Ramsey saw the danger and hacked the ball clear.

The same player almost made it 2-0 on 15 minutes when he whipped in a great shot from 20 yards and keeper Gallagher just managed to turn it round.

Portadown continued to dominate but their final pass, not to mention their shooting, was off target.

And late in the first half McAllister shot wildly past from close-in and a Peter McMahon shot was well wide of the right hand post.

The visitors came within a whisker of claiming an equaliser just before the break. Cormac Burke fired in a great cross from the right but the ball whizzed a few feet past and the Ports left the pitch still one ahead.

It was 1-1 a minute after the re-start with a well taken goal from Stephen Curry, who picked up a great free-kick from Aaron Walsh and smashed the ball home on the second attempt from just inside the box.

The Ports fought back hard, their best chance fell to McAllister but he was robbed by a great tackle from Graeme Crowne.

The Ports almost restored their lead on the hour when Gault got his head to a brilliant in-swinging corner from Ross Redman but the ball just arched over the top.

Minutes from full-time both teams had golden chances, firstly Portadown’s Garry Breen had a free header from a Ross Redman corner but managed to head two yards wide. And at the other end Matty Young was through on his own but shot weakly and keeper David Miskelly blocked the effort.

And to rub salt in the Ports’ wound McAllister of all people screwed past with the goal at his mercy.

But captain Michael Gault gave the Ports three priceless points with 90 minutes on the stopwatch when he collected the ball 40 yards out, ran at the defence and unleashed a brilliant low drive which gave Gallagher no chance.

PORTADOWN: Miskelly, Casement, Redman, Ramsey, Breen, McMahon, Mackle, Murray, McAllister, Gault, Garrett. Subs- Brennan, Mouncey (for Mackle 86), McElroy (for McMahon 67), Twigg (for Murray 65), Conaty.

INSTITUTE: Gallagher, Crowne, McLoughlin, O’Donnell, Taylor, Walsh, McManus, Forker, Burke, Hume, Curry. Subs- Mulcahy, Young (for Hume 81) , Thompson, McKeever, Doherty.