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Currie frustrated as Ports fail to make extra man count

Portadown 1-2 Glenavon

By Stuart McKinley

Portadown manager Niall Currie has met with a new frustration on his mission impossible - a failure to capitalise on opponents being shown red cards.

For the third time in seven league games since he took charge of the Ports in December, Currie saw his team lose by a single goal after facing 10 men for a large period of the game.

Glenavon's James Singleton was sent off after fouling Adam Foley inside the box, with Niall Henderson slotting home the resultant penalty to cut the Lurgan Blues' lead to 2-1 after goals from James Gray and Greg Moorhouse.

Although Currie wasn't too downbeat - particularly as his entire starting XI are all on amateur status due to the ban on signing professionals and the fact that Ken Oman, Garry Breen and Robert Garret were missing through suspension while Keith O'Hara, Mark Carson, Sean Mackle, Stephen Hughes and Mark McAllister were injured - he did see it as a missed opportunity to close the gap on Carrick Rangers at the bottom of the table.

"Ultimately we fell down quality wise," said Currie. "When we went to 10 v 11 you've got to use the pitch, you've got to use the space on the pitch. We were crying out about getting it wide, Shea McGerrigan stood with virtually nobody near him and we needed to get it out to him.

"Ultimately we didn't use our extra man, we didn't get the ball into wide areas the way we should have to stretch them.

"It's very frustrating because I thought we had a wonderful opportunity to get something on the board. When you look back at it I thought they got two goals that from our point of view were very disappointing.

"I thought it was a very even game and I didn't think there was much between the teams. I didn't see any big difference bar a cutting edge that gave them an advantage, but I got everything I wanted from the players in terms of honest endeavour and it's hard when three quarters of your team sitting in the stand."

Currie and opposite number Gary Hamilton were busy in the transfer market this weekend.

Portadown have announced the signing of former Glentoran and Ballymena United midfielder Philip Carson, although the 28-year-old is currently sidelined with a cruciate knee injury and may not be available for selection until next season.

Another player who won't be able to represent the Shamrock Park side this term is striker Adam Salley. Signed on a pre-contract agreement from Linfield, the 19-year-old is currently on loan with the Ports' relegation rivals Carrick Rangers.

Glenavon have, meanwhile, added Brazilian striker Renato Devicchi Martins from Danish Second Division West outfit Thisted, but player-boss Hamilton has refuted claims that an agreement has been reached to bring Dungannon Swifts ace Andrew Mitchell to the club in the summer.

PORTADOWN: McGaughey, Shannon, Byrne, Lyttle, Parker, Foley, Henderson (Gardiner, 90 mins), Wilson, McGerrigan, Mulvenna (Ferris 75 mins), Haire (Soares, 86 mins). Unused subs: Larkin, Mouncey.

GLENAVON: Tuffey, Marshall, Kelly, Marron, Singleton, Sykes, Martyn, Kilmartin (Canning, 38 mins), Cooper, Moorhouse, Gray (Hamilton, 81 mins). Unused subs: Patton, McGrory, Bates.

Referee: Ian McNabb (Newtownabbey).

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