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Hat-trick hero McAllister is looking up


All smiles as Mark McAllister completes his hat-trick

All smiles as Mark McAllister completes his hat-trick

All smiles as Mark McAllister completes his hat-trick

Mark McAllister described his hat-trick as a 'bonus' after his first goals of an injury-ravaged season helped fire Portadown into the sixth round of the Irish Cup.

The striker, who won the trophy three times with Linfield, was just glad to be playing after having most of 2015 ruined by spells on the treatment table.

Now, after starting only four league games this season, the 27-year-old is looking forward rather than back, with a sixth-round tie at home to Coleraine the reward after Saturday's 6-1 drubbing of Championship 2 side Wakehurst.

"It was great to get in among the goals - my first goals of the season and they are much needed," said McAllister after scoring his first hat-trick at senior level.

"I've been struggling all season with injuries, so it was just pleasing to get on the pitch first of all and the goals were a bonus.

"I definitely felt it in the end, my legs were tiring and it's a heavy pitch as well, so it didn't do me any favours.

"It's just pleasing to get into the next round."

McAllister's first two goals came six minutes apart. The first was a 15th-minute penalty after Marcio Soares' shot was charged down by Lee McClelland's arm.

That was followed by a low drive across the face of goal into the bottom left corner of the net, seconds after Soares had headed Matthew Parker's long throw in off a post.

Wakehurst, who have only won once in the league this season, were already struggling to stay in the game.

Chris Casement and Tim Mouncey scored either side of half-time to ensure a comfortable passage into the last 16 before McAllister completed his treble after Sean Mackle had made a great run down the right.

Youngster Matthew Parker struck an impressive sixth when he weaved his way into the box before finding the bottom corner and the Ballymena-based visitors netted a late consolation through Andrew Laughlin.

PORTADOWN: Miskelly, Mackle, Breen, Oman, Redman, Casement, Mouncey, Garrett (Stewart 83 mins), Parker, Soares, McAllister. Unused subs: Brennan, O'Hara, Murray, Twigg.

WAKEHURST: M Cairns, C McCaughern, McCartney, Steele (Millar, 27 mins), Swann, McClelland, Ross (Armstrong, 73 mins), Lemon, Foster (B Cairns, 60 mins), Laughlin, L McCaughern. Unused subs: Alexander, Price.

Man of the match: Mark McAllister

Match rating: 7/10

Referee: Lee Tavinder (Dungannon)

Belfast Telegraph