Portadown 2 Coleraine 0: A superb performance saw Portadown stroll into the semi-finals of the Co-operative Insurance Cup last night with a convincing win over Coleraine.
It was well worth the wait after this quarter-final was postponed three times, especially for the stunning opener on the hour from the right foot of Sean Mackle, with Tim Mouncey completing the scoring eight minutes later.
Indeed if it hadn’t been for a great show by Bannsiders’ goalkeeper Davy O’Hare the scoreline could easily have been doubled.
O’Hare saved Coleraine’s skin on four minutes when he beat out a superb free-kick from Kevin Braniff and then Shane McCabe had his shot blocked by the Bannsiders’ defence.
Coleraine had their first pop at goal on 15 minutes when Leon Knight pounced on a defensive error and whipped in a shot, but Ports’ goalkeeper Neil Armstrong was perfectly positioned to parry the effort.
The game livened up on 34 minutes when a Johnny Harkness cross from the left clipped the top of the Ports’ crossbar, play quickly swung to the other end when a great move by Ross Redman sent Wesley Boyle in on goal. His shot was parried by O’Hare and then the same player saw a pile driver blocked by Kyle McVey.
Portadown came within a whisker of an opener four minutes after the re-start when Philip Craig powered an effort from the edge of the box, but O’Hare turned it brilliantly round the post before Boyle missed a real sitter after he was set up by McCabe.
Portadown took the lead with a real screamer from Mackle who ran onto a short pass from Braniff and hammered the ball home from 25 yards with O’Hare rooted to the spot.
The Ports went two ahead eight minutes later with a header from Mouncey. Redman floated a cross in from the left and Braniff helped it on for Mouncey to score from close range.
Boosted by their two-goal lead it was all Portadown now and they were denied a third by brilliant defensive work.
Firstly O’Hare saved in a one-on-one with Braniff and then Michael Hegarty booted a Chris Ramsey header off the line.
PORTADOWN: Armstrong, Mackle, Redman, Ramsey, Boyle, Clarke, Braniff, Mouncey, McCabe, Craig, Tipton. Subs- Miskelly, Lecky (for Tipton 80), Baker (for Braniff 90), Teggart, McCafferty for Craig 82).
COLERAINE: O’Hare, Beverland, Harkness, Hegarty, McVey, Boyce, Black, Knight, Carson, Canning, Tommons. Subs: McLaughlin (for Beverland 45m), Harkin (for Harkness 64m), Lowry (for Black 73m), Cullen, Scullion.
Referee: Brian Turkington (Belfast).