Coleraine dominant at Shamrock Park

Mark Miskimmin hits the Portadown net in the first minute at Shamrock Park. photo:Derek Simpson
Mark Miskimmin hits the Portadown net in the first minute at Shamrock Park. photo:Derek Simpson

Coleraine produced an excellent display to pick up all three points away at Portadown and leapfrog Ballymena United in the table.

The Bannsiders were out of the blocks like a flash and fully deserved the win.

Mark Miskimmin fired them in front in the second minute with a composed finished. The visistors should have added to their advantage before Michael Gault saw red for a challenge on Miskimmin with 30 minutes on the clock.

Portadown couldn’t get going and were punished further just before the hour mark as Ruairi Harkin broke free and coolly fired past David Miskelly.

The hosts day went from bad to worse with two minutes to go as Darren Murray was sent off for a terrible challenge on Adam Mullan.

The Bannsiders took the lead with only 90 seconds on the clock. Shane McGinty’s clever pass sent Miskimmin through on goal, the former Glenavon man kept his cool and curled a shot across David Miskelly and into the bottom corner.

It could have been two moments as Harkin curled an effort just past the post with Miskelly struggling.

Harkin went even closer on nine minutes as his free kick from fully 30 yards beat Miskelly all ends up but it cannoned off the underside of the bar and was scrambled away.

The Bannsiders were dominating and Ports old boy Neil McCafferty was the next to strike the woodwork as his dipping shot beat Miskelly again, but the big stopper was rescued by the cross bar once more.

Things went from bad to worse for the home side as Michael Gault was shown a straight red card for a challenge on the goal scorer Miskimmin.

David Miskelly had to be at his best to tip over an Ian Parkhill header on 32 minutes.

Portadown were struggling to get any sort of foothold on the game, there first real effort came four minutes after the restart, but Gary Twigg’s speculative effort sailed well wide of the target.

Coleraine were looking dangerous on the break and a charge forward by Stephen Douglas on 58 minutes craved out another chance. He fed McGinty, who in turn found Harkin and his powerful shot was scrambled wide by Miskelly.

Harkin did grab his goal a minute later as he beat the offside trap before slotting past Miskelly at his near post.

Substitute Darren Murray had the ball in the Coleraine net with 20 minutes to go but it was chalked off for offside.

Mark Miskimmin almost grabbed a second with eight minutes to go after Parkhill had fed him, again though Miskelly did well to block.

Portadown’s day was compounded as they were reduced to nine men following Murray’s lunge on Mullan with two minutes to go.

Portadown: Miskelly, Casement, O’Hara, Ramsey (Stewart 60), Breen, McMahon, Mackle (Conaty 60), McAllister (Murray 60), Mouncey, Gault, Twigg.

Subs: Brennan, McMahon.

Red Cards: Gault (30), Murray (88)

Coleraine: Doherty, Kane, Mullan (Watt 90), Douglas, Ogilby, McCafferty, Harkin, Beverland, McGinty, Parkhill, Miskimmin.

Subs: McIlmoyle, Hegarty, McNeill, Lyons.

Goals: Miskimmin (2), Harkin (59).

Booking: Kane (75).

Referee: Raymond Crangle.