Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 10 July 2014

Football: Ain't taking the Michael

Michael Collins was protesting his innocence last night after being red-carded just 20 minutes after coming on as a substitue in Portadown's 2-2 draw with Limavady United.

GROUP B

PORTADOWN 2

LIMAVADY UNITED 2

Michael Collins was protesting his innocence last night after being red-carded just 20 minutes after coming on as a substitue in Portadown's 2-2 draw with Limavady United.

The midfielder was dismissed following a collision with Stephen Parkhouse, as the the former Glentoran striker left Shamrock Park with a broken nose.

There were claims that Collins had punched Parkhouse as they challenged for the ball inside the Limavady half, but the Portadown man claimed no such offence took place.

"I didn't punch Stephen Parkhouse and am not even sure how we came to make contact," he said.

"I actually thought that he had collided with his own team mate and I can guarantee there was no intent on my part.

"I have worked hard on my disciplinary record over the last couple of seasons. I was only sent-off once last season and I thought I was hard done by that day. The season before that I went through without a single red card and I don't think I am the bad-boy I am made out to be."

Limavady United manager John Cunningham said: "Stephen Parkhouse has a broken nose after being punched by Michael Collins and I thought it was a stupid thing for Collins to do when he is trying to work his way up to full match fitness.

"It wasn't a bad tempered game, there wasn't a bad tackle committed and both teams tried to play football throughout."

The Ports should have had the game wrapped up by half-time. Allan Smart gave them the lead from close range after Marc McCann's shot hit the post and after that Limavady goalkeeper Michael Doherty showed his best form to deny Gary McCutcheon twice, Richard Clarke and Peter Kennedy before half-time.

Tony Shields equalised for Limavady just before the hour mark and with 17 minutes to go McCutcheon crashed a shot off the bar which was followed in by Richard Clarke.

Limavady grabbed a point when debutant goalkeeper Rory Keenan raced off his line to come for a free-kick and when he failed to collect Stephen Lowry rolled the ball into the empty net.

PORTADOWN: Keenan 6, McStay 6, O'Hara 7, Clarke 7, Convery 7, Hunter 6, McCann 6, Marks 6, McCutcheon 8, Smart 7, Kennedy 6. Subs: Collins 4, Teggart 5.

LIMAVADY: M Doherty 8, Curran 6, Cutmore 6, Smith 6, Ferry 6, Shields 7, Lowry 6, E Doherty 7, Parkhouse 6, Sweeney 7, Semple 6. Subs: Harkin 5.

REFEREE: Alan Black (Antrim) 6

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