Ports end Coleraine’s unbeaten run

Eoin Bradley's opener for Coleraine deflects past Portadown Keeper David Miskelly. PICTURE: DEREK SIMPSON
Eoin Bradley's opener for Coleraine deflects past Portadown Keeper David Miskelly. PICTURE: DEREK SIMPSON

Coleraine’s recent unbeaten run was brought to a halt at The Showgrounds as they lost out in a five-goal thriller with Portadown.

The Bannsiders led twice going into the break thanks to goals from Eoin Bradley and Joe McNeill, either side of a Matthew Rooney strike for the visitors.

And it was Ronnie McFall’s men who secured all three points thanks to two goals in four second half minutes from Tim Mouncey and Darren Murray.

After a fairly tepid opening few minutes Coleraine edged in front with a quarter of an hour gone. Joe McNeill did well down the left before swinging a dangerous cross into the box, and at the second attempt Eoin Bradley got a shot off, however it took a nick off Gary Breen before finding the net.

Bradley should have added a second on 26 minutes after Stevie Lowry sent him clear, but the striker could only find the side netting.

Within four minutes the visitors were level as Gary Twigg and Darren Murray combined to set up Matthew Rooney, who coolly found the bottom corner from the edge of the box.

The Bannsiders responded and were unlucky not to go back in front again on 36 minutes as McNeill’s header from Harkin’s corner was headed off the line by Mackle.

Back came the Ports as Neil McCafferty flashed a shot across the face of goal two minutes later.

The hosts suffered a blow six minutes before the break as skipper Howard Beverland limped off with what looked like a hamstring injury.

McNeill wasn’t to be denied though as he found the target with the help of another deflection four minutes before the break to leave his former club trailing again.

Both sides made bright starts to the second half. Gary Breen should have done better with a header after Ferry’s failed to get any distance on his punch. At the other end Bradley tested Miskelly with a long range free kick.

The Ports were back on level terms again with an hour played as sub Tim Mouncey fired in from close range with his first touch after Ferry had saved Murray’s initial effort. And within four minutes the visitors were in front for the very first time as Murray’s long range effort deceived Ferry and found the net.

Coleraine should have grabbed an equaliser with three minutes to go as Tommons headed down Gary Browne’s cross into Lowry’s path, but he shot wide from six yards.

Coleraine: Ferry, Canning, McIlmoyle, Beverland (Ogilby 39), Douglas, Harkin (Hegarty,6, 73), Tommons, Lowry, McNeill (Browne 73), Bradley, McDaid.

Subs: Owens, Watt.

Goals: Bradley (15), McNeill (41)

Booked: Bradley, Ogilby

Portadown: Miskelly, Casement, Ramsey, Breen, Mackle, Murray, McCafferty, Twigg, Traynor, Friars (Mouncey 59), Rooney (McStay 59).

Subs: Brennan, Barton, Judge.

Goal: Rooney (30), Mouncey (60), Murray (64)

Booked: Ramsey, Murray, Friars, Mackle, Miskelly.

Referee: Hugh Carvill (Belfast).