Coleraine 4 Portadown 2
Portadown proved for 80 minutes of this game that they are more than capable of living with the best teams of this league. However defensive frailties are costing them dear. The Ports took the lead within 30secs of kick off through Foley who blasted home from 15 yards. The match came to a halt following prolonged treatment to Coleraine striker Eoin Bradley who unfortunately collided with a post as he challenged for the ball. Bradley was eventually stretchered off to hospital with suspected broken ribs. When the match re-started, Coleraine wasted no time in levelling the game when Lyons tricked his way towards the Ports 18 yard box before calmly picking his spot to shoot past McGaughey. The same player gave the home team the lead 8 mins later with a header from close range. The lead only lasted 6 mins before the Ports were back on level terms. Alan Byrne scoring from close range after a Foley volley was palmed away by Johns in the Coleraine goals.
The second half saw both sides going for the win, with new boys McGerrigan and Mulvenna looking lively for the Ports. However it was the home side who struck the decisive blow when McCafferty curled a free kick from the edge of the Ports box into the top corner of McGaugheys nets, giving the keeper no chance. As the Ports pushed forward looking for the equaliser, they left themselves open at the back allowing an unmarked McCauley to pick his spot with a close range header in the final minute of injury time.
It was tough luck on the Ports who gave their all on a swamp of a pitch. Both teams deserve tremendous credit for what was a very entertaining match.