Portrush welcomed Mossley to Quay Road on a high after last Saturday’s hard fought win and started the match in the ascendancy, passing the ball around well between defence and midfield.
Despite having the majority share of possession, Mossley posed a threat on the counter-attack. Portrush earned the games 1st short corner on the quarter hour mark with Peter McMullan switching the ball to Simon Bourne on the left, who shot wide of the near post. Moments later a break forward from Craig Hogg from the right hand side through the middle and his pass found Craig Henry in the D, whose reverse shot narrowly missed the near post. Moments later another break from the right saw the ball struck across the face of the goal and despite Gavin Christie’s best efforts, the ball travelled agonisingly wide of the far post.
Mossley began to grow into the game and won a series of short corners, which were well defended by the Portrush defence, with John McMullan in particular getting a couple of crucial blocks in.
The 2nd half began similar to the 1st. Mossley won another short corner which was once again excellently defended by John McMullan. Portrush, on the back foot, were forced to play on the counter-attack and created a couple of decent chances, most notably fromAdam Holmes who fired narrowly wide with a great effort. Portrush earned their 2nd short corner of the match which saw Andy Dalzell’s drag flick blocked well by the Mossley defence. Another short corner should’ve followed shortly afterwards but Andy Dalzell was adjudged to have impeded the defender and the umpire awarded a free-out to Mossley. Captain Craig Hogg was green-carded for his overzealous protestations, leaving his team a man-down for 2 minutes.
Mossley aimed to take advantage of the extra man with a swift counter-attack which saw Matt Jordan saving superbly from a 1-on-1. Portrush were able to clear initially but the next attack saw a penalty flick awarded to Mossley after the ball hit a Portrush defender’s foot following an attempt on goal after the keeper was rounded in the D. The Mossley player was clearly psyched out by Matt Jordan in the Portrush goal and saw his flick strike the post. Following the restart, Mossley continued to attack in numbers and won a series ofshort corners which were well marshalled by the Portrush backline.
The final minutes of the game saw Portrush pouring forward in numbers, attempting to seal all 3 points but despite winning a short corner late on, they were unable to nick a winnerwhich, in truth, they didn’t deserve. An uncharacteristically lacklustre performance from Portrush but with other results going their way, remain top of the table.
Portrush 2nd XI: Matt Jordan, Craig Hogg (C), Tom Cartmill, Peter McMullan, John McMullan, Simon Bourne, Graeme Kerr, Gavin Christie, Craig Henry, Andy Dalzell, Barry McMullan, Josh Hutchinson, Adam Holmes, Aaron Douglas, Graeme Christie
Man of the Match: Matt Jordan