Garrett's moment of magic adds gloss to rampant Portadown victory
Portadown 5 - Glentoran 3
Portadown rubber stamped their return to form by hitting five goals past Glentoran in an eight-goal thriller at Shamrock Park.
And it wasn't just the quantity of goals that was impressive, but the quality too, with strikers Gary Twigg and Darren Murray scoring outstanding goals and man of the match Robert Garrett producing an exquisite finish that will be a goal of the season contender.
Just a matter of weeks ago Ports manager Ronnie McFall, who celebrated 29 years in charge of the club at the weekend, was coming under fire after his team lost five games in succession. Now they have taken 10 points out of the last 12 and are just three points behind the Glens in the fight for a top-six spot.
It all started after only five minutes when Chris Casement sent a low cross into the box and Twigg produced an adept finish from close range to put the Ports in front.
The Glens were only behind for six minutes, even if their equaliser did come about in somewhat fortunate circumstances.
Marcus Kane pushed forward from left-back and fired a speculative shot towards goal. The ball hit a defender and looped up over Portadown goalkeeper David Miskelly and into the net.
They kept their foot on the pedal to go in front within four minutes. A ball into the box from the left wing was chested into the path of Curtis Allen by Jonathan Smith and the unmarked striker had the simple task of beating Miskelly.
All this with just 15 minutes gone.
The Ports got lucky too when they equalised in the 26th minute.
Niall Henderson's attempted back pass was too short to reach Elliott Morris. Murray spotted the error and pounced on the loose ball before sending a sweet chip over the Glentoran goalkeeper.
The goal of the night came seven minutes before half-time to cap what was a truly stunning first-half.
Garrett picked up the ball in midfield, drove across the front of the Glentoran defence from the left and when they failed to close him down he unleashed an unstoppable shot from 20 yards that flew past Morris.
There was no let up at the start of the second-half.
Five minutes in, Murray scored his second when he cut in from the left and sent in a shot that found its way into the net under Morris' body, but within two minutes the Glens hit back as Allen leapt highest to head home a long throw-in.
The Glens pushed for an equaliser, but their hopes of getting something out of the game were all but ended when Twigg netted his second with 18 minutes to go.
Sean Mackle touched a right-wing cross to the striker and he let fly with a left-foot volley that came straight off the sweet spot and gave Morris no chance from 12 yards out.
PORTADOWN: Miskelly, Ramsey, O'Hara, Mouncey, Redman, Casement, Garrett, Gault, Mackle, Murray, Twigg.
Goals: Twigg 4, 72; Murray 26, 50; Garrett 38.
Subs: Brennan, McAllister, Soares, Parker, Lyttle .
GLENTORAN: Morris, McCullough, Addis, Magee, Kane, McCaffrey (Caldwell), Henderson, Gordon, Cafolla (McMenamin), Smith (Hamill), Allen.
Goals: Kane 10, Allen 15, 52.
Subs not used: Hogg, Fearon.
Match rating: 9/10
Man of the match: Robert Garrett
Referee: Tim Marshall (Irvinestown).