Belfast Telegraph

Garrett is keen to banish Portadown final misery

By Stuart McKinley

Robert Garrett has admitted that the nature of Portadown's Irish Cup final defeat last season left a cloud hanging over the club for months.

And it's one that the tenacious midfield battler is determined to clear in this season's competition.

After coming through testing ties away to the PSNI and Portstewart on the way to last season's decider, a home fifth round draw against Championship 2 strugglers Wakehurst will give them some comfort.

There wasn't much of that back in May, though, when the Ports lost the final 1-0 to Glentoran.

When Windsor Park was deemed unusable after structural damage was discovered in the Kop Stand, the Ports had to face the Glens on their own ground at The Oval and the controversy only increased during the game when, seconds after referee Ross Dunlop missed Elliott Morris lifting a back pass, David Scullion scored the winner at the other end.

"Last year was very disappointing with the way everything panned out," said Garrett.

"I think now we have to draw a line under it and go into the competition fully focused and approach it the same way we did last year because that was good enough to get us to the final.

"There was a hangover after the season ended and there was that disappointment throughout the summer.

"I think that impacted on us and our form hasn't been great this season, but we've turned things around recently."

Wakehurst are bottom of Championship 2 having picked up just five points from their 12 league games this season.

They saw off north Antrim rivals Glebe Rangers in a penalty shoot-out last Saturday to reach the fifth round and have been rewarded with a trip to one of the Premiership's big hitters.

Holders Glentoran also got a home tie, but they face a very different prospect.

Their opponents will be Ards, who are currently top of Championship 1.

Glens manager Alan Kernaghan will be in the unusual position of going into the Irish Cup for the first time as a manager with his team trying to defend the trophy and he admits that comes with a level of expectation attached.

"Yes, there is pressure on me because we are holders and although Ards are a Championship team, there will be no complacency on our part," he said.

Belfast Telegraph


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