SET pieces cost Coleraine dearly as they are beaten by Portadown in pre-season action at Shamrock Park…
Coleraine created the first chance after four minutes when the ball kindly landed at the feet of Jamie McGonigle, but the striker’s half volley went inches over the crossbar. At the other end, Paddy McNally struck wide after picking up possession at the edge of the area.
On 15 minutes, a long ball found the run of McGonigle and the striker took a neat touch but his daisycutter was easily held by Portadown goalkeeper Robert Edwards.
The home side would strike first on 17 minutes as a long throw wasn’t defended well and the ball landed to Chris Crane at the edge of the area. The full-back hit a delightful low effort beyond the reach of Michael Doherty and into the bottom corner. The Ports almost doubled their advantage moments later but Doherty made a superb stop to keep out Chris Lavery’s rasping drive.
Oran Kearney’s side would carve out two more half chances before the break from the boot of Ben Doherty but his first shot went wide, before the former Derry City man failed to keep another effort on target.
The Bluefin Sport Championship side missed a glorious chance to go 2-0 ahead on 50 minutes as Ryan Carmichael picked out Aaron Duke at the edge of the area, but Doherty thwarted the striker from close range.
On 55 minutes, Coleraine found an equaliser as Crane’s back pass was under hit and McGonigle was alert to pounce on the ball, round Edwards and slot into the net. The Dungiven man should have grabbed a second ten minutes later as he was released on goal but he could only fire wide.
Portadown made a total of nine substitutions midway through the half and two of them combined to give the hosts the lead for a second time. A fantastic free-kick from George Tipton was headed home by Lee Bonis on 69 minutes. Moments later, the match should have been put to bed as Brendan Glackin was denied at point black range by Doherty.
Coleraine tried hard to find an equaliser in the last 10 minutes as McGonigle fired over the bar, Quigley failed to find the target after a neat team move, with the final chance arriving at the feet of Dean Shiels but he also failed to trouble Edwards.
A second successive pre-season defeat for Coleraine who now turn their attentions to a double header against Coagh United and Glebe Rangers next weekend.
PORTADOWN: Edwards, Hall, Crane (Tipton ’67 mins), Finnegan (McCallum ’67 mins), Lavery (Glackin ’67 mins), Salley (McKenna ’67 mins), Duke (Bradley ’67 mins), Wilson (McGrandles ’67 mins), Carmichael (Ferris ’67 mins), McNally, Taggart (Bonis ’67 mins).
COLERAINE: Doherty, Mullan, McConaghie, Burns (Quigley ’67 mins), O’Donnell, McGonigle, Canning, Doherty, J. Bradley (Owens ’75 mins), Glackin, Shiels.
Sub Not Used: Douglas
Referee: Diarmuid Harrigan