Belfast Telegraph

Tim Mouncey relieved to hit last-gasp goal for Portadown

Dungannon Swifts 2 Portadown 3

By Adrian Rutherford

Tim Mouncey admitted there was a feeling of relief rather than celebration after his late goal fired Portadown back to the top of the Danske Bank Premiership.

The midfielder came off the bench to score with almost the final kick of a dramatic Mid-Ulster derby battle with Dungannon Swifts.

It saw the Ports retake top spot on goal difference as an increasingly unpredictable season nears its midway point.

However, they were pushed all the way by Dungannon, who twice levelled before Mouncey's late winner.

The 32-year-old admitted it was a hard-fought victory.

Asked about his emotions after scoring at the death, he said: "It's more a feeling of relief that we got the three points.

"Dungannon made it difficult for us, as we knew they would.

"For them to equalise so late on could have been a real setback, but it shows the spirit in the team this year.

"In previous seasons we might not have come back and got that winning goal."

Portadown had led through a Darren Murray wonder-strike.

The forward leapt off the ground to meet a chipped cross from Peter McMahon and score with a right-foot volley.

Dungannon improved after the break and hit the post through Gary Liggett.

They levelled via Dougie Wilson, who scored with a close range header after a corner had been knocked on. However, the Ports were back in front within 60 seconds.

Gary Twigg was left unmarked on the edge of the six-yard box and glanced home a simple header.

It looked like Dungannon had snatched a point when Jamie Tomelty's deflected strike made it 2-2 five minutes from the end - but Mouncey ensured there would be one final twist, ghosting in at the back post to win it in the 92nd minute.

This was the fourth time this season that Darren Murphy's side have seen points slip away in stoppage time.

They are still searching for a first home league win and remain deep in relegation trouble.

A miserable afternoon was made worse by injuries to Dermot McCaffrey and Grant Hutchinson, with Murphy outlining his belief that it was their most painful loss of the campaign to date.

"Football has been cruel to us a lot this season, but that was a hammer-blow," he said.

"When we pulled it back to 2-2 with four minutes to go, it should have been about making sure we went away with a point.

"Instead the players thought we could win the game.

"The players are sitting in there and they are absolutely devastated."

Dungannon: Coleman, McCullough, Brennan, McCaffrey, Fitzpatrick, Harpur, Hutchinson, Glackin, Wilson, Tomelty, Mitchell. Substitutions: Grieve (McCaffrey, 6 mins), Sanusi (Hutchinson, 26 mins), Liggett (McCullough, 46 mins).

Portadown: Miskelly, Casement, Redman, Ramsey, Breen, McMahon, Mackle, Murray, Gault, Twigg, Garrett. Substitutions: Conaty (Mackle, 77 mins), Mouncey (Twigg, 85 mins).

Man of the match: Michael Gault

Match rating: 7/10

Referee: Mervyn Smyth (Belfast)

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