Frustrated Ports come up short in must win game at Stormont

Portrush player Graeme Christie engaging with a Portadown opponent in last Saturday's league game played at Quay Road
Portrush player Graeme Christie engaging with a Portadown opponent in last Saturday's league game played at Quay Road

Portrush traveled to Stormont last Saturday to play PSNI in what was an essential match in Portrush’s chances of survival in Senior One.

After last week’s encouraging performance against Portadown, Portrush felt confident about the match.

From the beginning Portrush were in total control of the game and within minutes of the first half Portrush had taken the lead as Graeme Christie found the PSNI goal with a precise push into the bottom corner.

Now in the lead Portrush continued to attack and press the slow PSNI defence, eventually winning multiple short corners but unfortunately for the Ports a second goal just couldn’t be found.

As the first half drew on PSNI hadn’t a sniff of the Portrush goal up until a counter attack was made and PSNI were able to win a short corner in which PSNI were able to convert making it all even.

However, Portrush still continued to attack and were determined to find another goal to take the lead but as half time struck it was still all even at 1-1

As the second half commenced Portrush continued to strive for the lead, winning short corners and having plenty of chances in front of the PSNI goal but the Ports just couldn’t find the goal.

But not long into the second half from a Portrush hit out, PSNI were able to take advantage from a mistake by the Portrush left back and scored their second of the game.

For the first time in the match Portrush were losing and again tried to come back into the game but not long after PSNI gained another short corner, which Portrush saved and managed to break down but the ball still fell to the PSNI striker who found the Portrush goal for a third time with another tap in making it 3-1.

A frustrated Portrush still didn’t give up and continued to try to take something from the game. Nearing the end of the second half from a great counter attack Portrush broke through with John Dillon beating the last defender to score an unstoppable reverse hit making it 3-2.

With Portrush back in business it seemed like it would be only a matter of time before the equaliser would of have been found. Unfortunately for the Ports there just wasn’t enough time and at the final whistle the game ended in defeat

This was a very disappointing game for Portrush, however the Ports will look forward and take the game as a lesson learned to move on.

Portrush face Bangor this weekend in what will be another tough game. A thankyou to Richard McNabb who umpired both Portrush matches at Stormont.

Portrush: Matt Jordan, Neil McMaster (C), Ryan Smith, Philip Linton, Brent Smith, Leon Smith, Aaron Kerr, Callum McKeeman, Andrew Christie, Graeme Christie, John Dillon, Barry McMullan, Andrew McConaghie, Craig Henry