Portadown 1 Dungannon Swifts 1
Dungannon have registered a draw in more than half their 17 League outings so far this season and manager Darren Murphy made no secret of the fact that this ninth stalemate was perhaps the least satisfying.
“We should have landed all three points,” insisted Murphy, who was born and brought up in Portadown.
“We created far more chances, and it was frustrating to see two cleared off the line and another dip inches over the crossbar.
“We came here to play positive football and push Portadown back. We succeeded in that but managed just one point and I’m not happy about that. It doesn’t flatter us to be called the draw experts of the league.”
The man who foiled and frustrated the Swifts most of all was Ports left-back Ross Redman, who turned 23 on Friday. He was nominated the home fans’ Man of the Match. It was he who engineered the penalty kick that Darren Murray converted to level an earlier classic by Josh Cahoon.
And it was Redman who executed those superb clearances, both in the second-half — one from the head of Cameron Grieve and the second from the right boot of Cahoon. And it was Cahoon who saw his subtle ‘dipper’ inch just over the crossbar.
The striker’s 17th minute goal was set up, virtue of a wonderful, low cross by Chris Lavery from the left, with the scorer nipping in to flick home from close in.
The Ports answered seven minutes later when Redman drove forward and was clipped by keeper Niall Morgan. Redman admitted: “There was no real danger, but the ref (Raymond Crangle) got it right. It was a clumsy tackle.”
Portadown boss Ronnie McFall was also far from happy. “We were poor, and it wasn’t a good match. It was scrappy from start to finish.
“The midfield especially was disjointed, and we can’t complain about getting just a point from this one. The front men, especially Darren Murray, weren’t getting the service,” McFall said.