Belfast Telegraph

Portadown manager Ronnie McFall sees red as Adamson keeps Crusaders in top gear

By Graham Luney

Portadown 0 Crusaders 1: Crusaders march on in pursuit of their first league championship triumph since 1997.

Timmy Adamson's sixth goal of the season early in the second-half settled a tight affair at Shamrock Park.

Portadown's array of attacking talent found the Crusaders' defence too resilient to break down.

Ports boss Ronnie McFall blasted the officials for failing to call an offside in the run-up to the only goal as Colin Coates cut the ball back for Adamson to score in the 47th minute of the game.

Linesman James Eakin was on the receiving end of the McFall hairdryer and was sent to the stands by referee Raymond Hetherington.

The Shamrock Park chief cut a frustrated figure afterwards, but Adamson was in high spirits after the Crues made it 16 games unbeaten in all competitions.

"I'm delighted," said the former Linfield striker. "A win is what we were looking for and it's three big points.

"I've missed the last few games so it's good to be back and on the scoresheet. I know I definitely wasn't offside for the goal but whether Colin was I'm not sure. It didn't look offside to me.

"At half-time we felt one goal would win it and we got the heads down and worked hard. A clean sheet is important too and defensively we have been excellent.

"This was a massive win at a tough away venue."

The Crues restricted Portadown to few chances though Garry Breen's header from a corner flew over the crossbar.

Stephen Baxter's men flew out of the traps in the second-half and only a timely block from Chris Casement prevented Jordan Owens' shot hitting the target.

Adamson tapped in from Coates' left wing cross and the Ports couldn't unlock the Crues rearguard.

McFall said: "These matches are always decided by tight margins but there were two offsides before the goal.

"We were denied penalties in the first-half too. We certainly didn't get the decisions."

PORTADOWN: Miskelly, Casement, Breen, Murray, Braniff, Mouncey, McCafferty, Twigg, O'Connor, Friars, Barton (McStay, 58 mins).

CRUSADERS: O'Neill, Leeman, Magowan, Coates, McLean, Morrow, Robinson (McCutcheon, 73 mins), McMaster (McAllister, 79 mins), Snoddy, Adamson (Cleary, 89 mins), Owens.

Referee: Raymond Hetherington (Dungannon)

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