Superb performance by seasiders as they hold leaders Lurgan Celtic

editorial image

Spectators at Portstewart on Saturday were treated to a thrilling tie as the home side welcomed Championship Two leaders Lurgan Celtic.

A spectacular goal by Portstewart forward Nigel Turner was the highlight of the game, as the home side were forced to share the spoils, despite having enough changes to win the game.

David McClements was unlucky with a his strike as the Lurgan keeper somehow got a finger tip to the powerful shot to push it over the bar.

Portstewart found the woodwork, thanks to efforts from McClements and Doherty as their dominance in the first half continued.

The visitors pulled back a goal from a corner to leave the score 1-1 at the break.

The second half saw Portstewart playing some good passing football.

Their dominance continued as they had chances from Johnny Stewart, Lee Forgrave, David McClements and Ryan Doherty.

Speaking after the tie, Portstewart boss Gary Taylor said he was delighted with the performance, but added that his side could have won the tie.

“We were very happy with the display, I felt that we did enough to deserve all three points.

“They are a very good side, but we proved how much we have improved, we started well and we kept the momento going until the final whistle.

“Lurgan Celtic are sitting top of the league. They are gunning for promotion, they have a lot of good players in their ranks, but we certainly held our own against them.”

David McClements replaced an injured Luke Bradley early in the tie, and Taylor praised McClements for his efforts: “David slotted in at right back and did very well, he hit the bar and was unlucky with another effort.

“Nigel Turner’s goal was a real belter, I don’t think he will ever score one like that again,” joked Taylor.

Portstewart welcome Newry City to Seahaven this Saturday in the Irish Cup: “Newry are a big Club, so I have no doubt that Saturday will be a tough test.

“They are now in the lower tiers of football, but a Club the size of Newry should have no trouble in attracting quality players, so we won’t be taking it lightly.”

Portstewart have drawn Ards on Saturday, December 13 in the Intermediate Cup.

“Ards are sitting second in Championship One, so this will be a tough game for us, I have no doubt about that,” said Taylor.

“They were in the Premier League last year and they are looking to bounce back up again, but we have a good squad.

“It’s about having a bit of belief in ourselves, we will treat it like any other game and see what happens. It would be nice to get a run in both Cups.

“It would be good to attract a big draw in the next round, as a player I always liked to test myself against stronger opposition, so we will go into each tie as we do every other league game.

“We are playing well at the minute and I would be hopeful that we would keep that going.”

The Cup game this Saturday has a 1.30 kick off.