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Pat McGibbon wants Portadown post full-time as he prepares to step into the breach after McFall departure

Portadown 2-3 Lurgan Celtic

By David Mason

Published 07/03/2016

Spot on: Lurgan Celtic’s Raymond Fitzpatrick
Spot on: Lurgan Celtic’s Raymond Fitzpatrick

Former international defender Pat McGibbon is expected to move into the Portadown managerial seat on a temporary basis following the dramatic resignation of Ronnie McFall at the weekend.

Club physiotherapist McGibbon, the former Manchester United centre-back, has declared an interest in the post, stating: "I'll certainly help out in training, or step in on a temporary capacity if the board asked me.

"I'll be happy to make a contribution. Obviously, it will take a few days for the dust to settle. Everything is a bit up in the air at the moment after Ronnie's resignation.

"The aim would be to stabilise things in the short term - the next few days will be important. But I have my UEFA Pro Licence, so a return to management is something I have in mind."

McFall's assistant Kieran Harding has also quit, but it is understood that coach Trevor Williamson remains at the club and, with Coleraine due at Shamrock Park next week, there is a possibility he could share the workload with McGibbon.

It was a sorry way for McFall to end his association with the club. He again ran the gauntlet of abuse from irate supporters after the Ports hit a new low.

His shock departure deprived Lurgan Celtic of the headlines they fully deserved following an historic victory in their first Irish Cup quarter-final.

Goals from Aaron Haire and Shea Conaty appeared have the tie done and dusted, especially as the Ports were reduced to 10 men after 32 minutes when Mark McAllister was dismissed for inexcusably lashing out at John Cochrane, who was forced out of the game with a nasty facial wound.

However, the Ports came roaring back and looked to have forced extra-time courtesy of goals from Marcio Soares and Sean Mackle. But when skipper Keith O'Hara stuck out a leg to trip Haire deep into injury time, McFall's decision to quit was confirmed.

Raymond Fitzpatrick stepped up to confidently send David Miskelly the wrong way from the spot, sending the Celtic fans into raptures.

Ronnie McFall
Ronnie McFall
Ronnie McFall 1972
Ronnie McFall 1966
Ronnie McFall 1979
Ronnie McFall 1973
Ronnie McFall 1974
Portadown manager Ronnie McFall (left Back Row) pictured with his victorious double winning team in 1991.
Portadown boss Ronnie McFall still looks pensive even though his team are 3-1 up against Linfield during the Irish Premier league game at Shamrock Park in Portadown in 2002.
Portadown manager Ronnie McFall celebrates with the Irish Cup at Windsor Park in Belfast in May 2005.
Glentoran Manager Ronnie McFall. 8/9/84.
Portadown manager Ronnie McFall takes the plaudits from the fans after winning the Bass Irish cup in 1991 to go along with the League title
Ronnie McFall Portadown boss celebrates a 5-1 win over Larne at Windsor park in 2005.
Portadown manager Ronnie McFall with his ace striker Vinnie Arkins in their 3-1 victory over Cliftonville in April 2002
Portadown's long serving manager Ronnie McFall MBE in December 2007.
PACEMAKER BELFAST Portadown manager Ronnie McFall with the 1996 Irish Premier Championship
Northern Ireland Supremo Billy Bingham chats to Glentoran manager Ronnie Mcfall. 1982
Ronnie McFall 1995
Ronnie McFall receives his manager of the year award in 1991
Ronnie McFall.
Ronnie McFall, the Portadown Mnager, celebrates his team success as they lifted the Nationwide Iirsh Cup, against Larne at Windsor Park today 7/05/05/
Ronnie McFall Portadown Manager. 3-4-1999
Ronnie McFall in 1992
Danske Bank Irish Premier League - Ballymena United v Portadown FC at Ballymena Showgrounds. August 2014. Picture by John McIlwaine/
Danske Bank Premiership. Portadown v Cliftonville. November 2014.
Portadown v Glenavon November 2014.
Ronnie McFall:Football/After recieving his MBE from the Queen at Buckingham Palace. Pictured with his wife.
Ronnie McFall and wife Anne. Portadown manager with the Irish League Cup. 28/3/1991
Carrick v Portadown. October 2015 Photo by David Maginnis/Pacemaker Press
Portadown v Ballymena United. October 2014.
Portadown's Ronnie McFall August 2015 Picture by Stephen Hamilton / Press
Portadown FC v Warrenpoint Town November 2013.
Portadown manager Ronnie McFall March 2013 in a game against Coleraine.
Danske Bank Premiership, Portadown v Donegal Celtic at Shamrock Park. Portadown manager Ronnie McFall. January 2013
Ronnie McFall and wife Anne. Portadown manager with the Irish League Cup. 28/3/1991
Portadown's Ronnie McFall 28th February 2009.
Portadown v Crusaders Danske Bank Premiership. Photo by David Maginnis/Pacemaker Press
Portadown v Linfield Carling Premiership, May 2010. Photo Charles McQuillan/PacemakerPACEMAKER BELFAST
Dungannon Swifts Vs Portadown. Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye
Portadown v Glenavon 26th December 2006. Portadown manager Ronnie McFall, left, receives a present from the club's chairman, Roy McMahon, for 20 years service.
Linfield v Portadown, 27th October 2012 - Brian Little/ Presseye
Portadown's Ronnie McFall gets a kiss from David Jeffrey ahead of a clash between Linfield and Portadown.
Ronnie McFall:Football/After recieving his MBE from the Queen at Buckingham Palace. Pictured with his wife.
Portadown's manager Ronnie McFall after Lurgan Celtic were awarded a penalty during the game at Shamrock Park, Portadown. Photo by David Maginnis/Pacemaker Press
Portadown's manager Ronnie McFall after his final game against Lurgan Celtic. Photo by David Maginnis/Pacemaker Press
Portadown's manager Ronnie McFall during his final game at Shamrock Park, Portadown. Photo by David Maginnis/Pacemaker Press
Portadown's manager Ronnie McFall at his final game at Shamrock Park, Portadown. Photo by David Maginnis/Pacemaker Press

Delighted Celtic boss Colin Malone, said: "We showed great character to come back and win it, I'm thrilled for the boys. We had to dig deep because Portadown put us under pressure in the second half, especially when they pulled back level.

"They were putting a lot of balls into the box, it was backs to the wall stuff. But the boys worked their socks off and got what they deserved.

"I knew if we got to half-time, either level or in front, the Portadown supporters would do the rest - and they didn't disappoint. They had a right go at the players coming off."

With a glamour semi-final clash with Linfield looming on Friday, April 1, Malone believes the pressure will all be on David Healy's team.

"It's absolutely brilliant for us," he added.

"We had already written ourselves into the record books by reaching the quarter finals for the first time. Now we have a semi-final against the Blues to negotiate. We'll be underdogs, but that suits us."

In the aftermath of his team's celebrations, Malone was shocked to learn that McFall had quit and explained: "I didn't even get the chance to shake his hand. I know the supporters were really hard on him and the players, both at half time and at the finish, but I really didn't think it would come to Ronnie resigning.

"He has been one of the Irish League's great character for many years and he'll be missed."

PORTADOWN: Miskelly, Casement, Redman, O'Hara, Mackle, McAllister, Oman, Lowry, Gault, Garrett, Soares (Breen, 78 mins). Unused subs: Marron, Ramsey, Parker, Judge.

Lurgan Celtic: McCorry, Wilson, Rodgers, Hutchinson, Cochrane (McCabe, 37 mins), Malone, Conaty, Barton, Fitzpatrick, Haire, McVeigh. Unused subs: S Devlin, N Devlin, Toland, Lavery.

Man of the match: Stephen Hutchinson

Match rating: 7/10

Referee: Raymond Hetherington (Dungannon)

Belfast Telegraph

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