Carrick 3 Portadown 2
A Marcio Soares double wasn’t enough to see Portadown home this afternoon in a damp but far from dreary encounter with Carrick at Taylors Avenue. Both sides produced a competitive game of football on a challenging surface, which kept both sets of fans on their toes throughout the 90 minutes.
Carrick opened the scoring in the 34th minute via a deflected shot which clipped off Matt Hazely before entering the net. There was a short delay whilst the referee and assistant debated whether a Carrick forward was in an off-side position, but they eventually ruled that the goal stood. Carricks lead lasted all of 34 minutes before Soares pounced on a loose ball and slotted home from 5 yards to level the scores. Within a minute of the restart Carrick regained the initiative as Murray fired an unstoppable shot from 25 yards into the top of the net to give Duffin no chance. Just as the home fans celebrations had died down up popped Soares again with a sweet finish from 20 yards to sweep the ball into the corner of the home net to draw the Ports level going in at the break.
The second half failed to live up to the fireworks of the first half, and it was Carrick who took a grip of the game as they used the advantage of the slope to mount attack after attack. However they had to wait until 20 minutes from the end of normal time before they finally put the ball in the net. The goal, when it came, was more of a cross than a shot, from all of 30 yards. The ball looped over the head of Duffin and into the bottom corner of the Ports goals. The Ports looked stunned and dejected, and despite a plethora of substitutions in the dying minutes, they failed to threaten the home goals.