Belfast Telegraph

Ronnie McFall rues Portadown's luck after draw against Dungannon

Portadown 1-1 Dungannon Swifts

By Adrian Rutherford

Ronnie McFall could have been forgiven for checking his watch to see if he'd lost track of time and it was actually still Friday the 13th.

On a chaotic afternoon at Shamrock Park, the Portadown boss suffered enough bad luck to spook even the most superstitious of souls.

The two points dropped after a disappointing draw against Dungannon Swifts, which hit his side's hopes of European qualification, were bad enough - but that was only part of the story of what could prove a very costly game.

McFall's men also had two key players sent off, with Robert Garrett and Chris Casement now set to miss this weekend's Irish Cup semi-final with Ballymena United and, to cap it all, experienced midfielder Tim Mouncey suffered a knee injury in the first half.

"It wasn't a good day," said McFall with a hint of understatement.

"Obviously we were looking for three points but we always knew it was going to be a hard match - it always is against Dungannon."

Gary Liggett and Casement netted the goals but the post-match focus centred on those manic final minutes which saw the hosts' numbers reduced.

First Garrett was sent off for an alleged stamp after getting in a tangle with Jamie Glackin, then Casement saw red for an alleged head-butt on Terry Fitzpatrick.

McFall confirmed Portadown's intention to appeal Casement's ban and added: "It's the last thing we wanted."

While he won't admit it, Darren Murphy will be quietly confident his side will be back among the elite next season.

"I'm pleased with a point - I'd have taken a point before the game," he said.

"I suppose the way the game pans out we are maybe a wee bit disappointed that we didn't win."

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