VISITORS to Crystal Park in Banbridge on Saturday were treated to an eight goal thriller, as Portstewart were the visitors.
Unfortunately for Gary Taylor’s side it was the home team that walked away with the points.
The visitors started off poorly and let Colin Malone’s side dominate the play.
They scored two quick goals leaving Portstewart stunned.
A few encouraging words from the side lines saw Portstewart getting more involved in the tie, and they were rewarded from a well-worked Ricky Dunlop goal on 20 minutes.
After this Portstewart pushed in search of an equaliser.
Chances fell to Ricky McMullan and Owen Moody but they both found the woodwork.
At the other end Joel Madison dealt well with any Banbridge efforts.
Portstewart gave away a third goal on the stroke of half time, the defence seemed to switch off to allow McArdle through for his third.
The second half saw a brighter spell from the visitors.
Owen Moody pulled a goal back, but Banbridge added another, that man McArdle on target again for his fourth.
Andy White and Ricky Dunlop both had good efforts for Portstewart, but it just wasn’t to be.
Defensive errors saw Banbridge grabbing two more goals, O’Neill and Kingsberry on target for the Crystal Park side who ran out 6-2 winners.
“It was a bad day for us,” admitted Portstewart assistant, Aaron Forgrave.
“We had a bad started, but after we got ourselves organised we played some good football. Defensively we were poor, the boys just switched off at the wrong times and unfortunately Banbridge took advantage of this.”
Forgrave had praise for his mid fielders, Ian Todd and youngster Dean Murray: “Both Dean and Ian worked their socks off. Dean is only a youngster, and he’s lots to learn but we have been very impressed with him in the last few games.
“ We have no match this coming week, so it’ll give us a chance to work on a few things with the squad.
Portstewart’s next game is a derby tie with Paul Gaston’s Ballymoney United at home on Saturday, September 15.
THANK YOU JON: The Committee, management and players of Portstewart Football Club would like to thank Jon McLaughlin.
Last week Jon donated a ride-on lawn mower to Portstewart FC.
Jon, who is the grounds man at Coleraine, had purchased a new lawnmower and generosity handed over his old one to be used on the pitch at Portstewart.
Jon’s thoughtfulness is greatly appreciated by all at Portstewart.