Winning Wes halted by hot Hammy as Glenavon and Portadown draw
Portadown 2 Glenavon 2: Wesley Boyle scored two magnificent goals but had to be content with a share of the spoils in a weather-beating derby.
Boyle was denied the glory by Ports old boy Gary Hamilton’s 84th minute Glenavon equaliser.
“We should have won the game on our second-half display,” claimed Portadown born and bred midfielder Boyle. “We missed a lot of chances, and it was really was a sickener when Glenavon equalised. But you have to accept these things in football.”
Glenavon dominated for much of the first-half, with Mark Haughey giving them a deserved lead on 21 minutes, but Boyle’s leveller just before the break turned the game on its head, and his second superb score should have won it.
Said Lurgan boss Marty Quinn: “Overall, I thought a draw was a fair result — it was a classic game of two halves, and frankly I thought our keeper Andrew Plummer should have had Boyle’s first effort. But he made a string of fine saves after the interval, and more than redeemed himself. I thought the referee was a bit liberal with the yellow cards (five in all), but it was a decent match.”
Haughey’s opener was the result of poor defending by the Ports. It came from an in-swinging Hamilton free-kick from the left and Haughey ghosted in, unmarked, at the far post to steered the ball into the unguarded net.
Portadown were under the cosh at that stage, but a piece of Boyle brilliance saw them all-square. He raced at the defence and let rip from about 30 yards with a bender of a shot; Plummer slipped, misjudged and got a despairing hand to the ball as it flew into the net.
“That was a real turning-point,” said Portadown manager Ronnie
McFall. “We gave them a football lesson after that, but at least three glaring misses told in the end and Glenavon sneaked an equaliser they frankly didn’t deserve.
“Putting the ball in the net has been our problem all season. We’d be well up the table if there was more sharpness in our finishing.”
New striker Matthew Tipton — ex-Dundalk and former Welsh under-21 international — will be available in January and perhaps that will solve the problem.
Boyle showed them all how to find the net on 69 minutes when he rounded off a superb sweeping move and fairly leathered the ball from the edge of the box into the top corner.
It was euphoria for the Portadown fans, many of whom had helped clear snow from the pitch to allow their local derby to go on, but they were silenced on 83 minutes when former Shamrock Park hero Hamilton tapped home.
It had a sad ending when Glenavon’s Stuart King was injured in a tackle and taken to hospital with a suspected broken ankle.
PORTADOWN: Miskelly, Redman, McStay, Ramsey, Boyle, Baker, McCabe, Mackle, Craig, Braniff, Mouncey. Subs: Armstrong, McCaffrey, Lecky (for Baker 63m), Teggart (for McStay 84m), Haire.
GLENAVON: Plummer, Neill, Magee, Walsh, Molloy, King, Miskimmin, Harper, Turkington, Hamilton, Haughey. Subs: Harpur, Grant (for Miskimmin 69m), Costello (for Walsh 75m), Brennan, Stewart (for Harper 76m).
Referee: Stephen Weatherall (Belfast).