COLERAINE trailed Portadown by three goals with less than 20 minutes remaining, but the Bannsiders produced an extraordinary comeback to leave Shamrock Park with all three points…
Friday, August 24, 2012.
Portadown 3-4 Coleraine
Goals – McNeill (‘9 mins), Braniff (’25 mins), Mackle (’61 mins); Boyce (’72 mins), Canning (’77 mins), Allen (’88 mins), Gillan (’90 mins).
Coleraine mounted an extraordinary comeback by recovering from a three-goal deficit to beat Portadown and move to the top of the Premiership table.
Joe McNeill gave the Ports the lead and Kevin Braniff scored with a stunning 25-yard shot which came off the bar.
A Sean Mackle goal made it 3-0 on 61 minutes but a Darren Boyce header (72) and a 25-yard Aaron Canning shot (77) gave the Bannsiders hope.
Curtis Allen levelled on 88 and Mark Gillan netted a dramatic winner on 90.
The Ports began the match brightly and O’Neill broke the deadlock with a fierce left-foot drive past Michael Doherty from 18 yards after Mackle had headed a Keith O’Hara cross into his path after nine minutes.
Darren Murray had an opportunity soon after but his downward header was straight at Doherty.
Braniff’s sensational 25th-minute strike was an early candidate for goal of the season as he beat a defender and unleashed a thunderbolt of a shot past the goalkeeper and into the net.
David Miskelly made a fine save to deny Ruairi Harkin and then Braniff turned provider to supply the pass for Mackle to fire past the advancing keeper.
Substitute Boyce found the net with a free header from a Canning cross and then Canning beat the unsighted Miskelly with a 25-yard shot after a corner had been only half cleared.
Allen equalised with a dipping shot and Gillan, another substitute, sent the away fans into raptures by scoring the winner.
PORTADOWN: Miskelly, O’Hara, Redman, Breen, Gartland, McCafferty, McNeill, Mackle, Casement (Lecky), Murray (Burns), Braniff.
Subs Not Used: McArdle, McLellan, Adams.
COLERAINE: Doherty; Canning, Beverland, Ogilby, Colligan, Owens (Boyce), Hegarty (Gillan), Lowry, Harkin, McIlmoyle, Allen.
Subs Not Used: Cullen, Scullion, McVey.