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Portadown boss Ronnie McFall makes no case for poor defence in Dungannon Swifts draw

Portadown 3-3 Dungannon

By Ian Callender

Portadown manager Ronnie McFall will welcome back Keith O'Hara with open arms tomorrow night for their rearranged league derby clash with Glenavon after an horrific defensive performance against Dungannon Swifts on Saturday.

Remarkably, the Ports moved up a place into the top half of the table after a game they had no right to take a point from, but a combination of poor finishing from Dungannon and a blatant refereeing error gave them an unlikely 3-3 draw.

Quite how there were only six goals after a feast of goalmouth incidents almost defies belief, but McFall was just relieved to take a point.

"We lost three goals and could have lost another three," he said.

"But at least we showed character and battled back after conceding some pretty horrendous goals, a (Chris) Casement back pass, (goalkeeper Billy) Brennan drops one and (Garry) Breen nearly gives away another at the end - an horrific defensive performance is probably an understatement."

The veteran boss is just hoping the unique derby atmosphere will lift his players. He added: "Form goes out the window in a derby, it's another hard match, so we will see where we are."

Portadown led for 25 minutes in the first-half but either side of Breen's headed opener, Dungannon wasted no fewer than eight decent chances before Matt Hazley and captain Ryan Harpur helped themselves to goals in the last four minutes to give them a deserved half-time advantage.

It was more of the same in the second-half with Gary Twigg and lively substitute Marcio Soares scoring from three Portadown attempts while Swifts had to be satisfied with an Andrew Mitchell goal, although the young striker probably should have scored a hat-trick.

It was also Mitchell who was brought down on the edge of the area four minutes from time by Ken Oman but referee Raymond Crangle did not even give a free-kick.

Swifts boss Darren Murphy said: "To be fair to Raymond, he rang me on Saturday night to admit he got it wrong, but what use is that to us? The result won't change.

"I'm devastated for that group of players because they deserved more than what they got."

PORTADOWN: Brennan, Casement, Oman, Breen, Redman, McMahon (Soares, 79 mins), Garrett, Gault, Mackle, (Stewart, 72 mins), Twigg, Murray. Unused subs: Mouncey, Richardson, Miskelly

Dungannon: Coleman, Montgomery, Armstrong, Wilson, McCaffrey, Lowe, Fitzpatrick, Harpur, Hazley, McElroy, Mitchell. Unused subs: Glackin, Burke, Taggart, O'Rourke, Addis

Man of the match: Andrew Mitchell (right)

Match rating: 9/10

Referee: Raymond Crangle (Belfast)

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