Portrush welcomed Portadown for another league fixture of the season on Saturday.
The Ports were sure this would be no easy game as Portadown will be contending for the Senior One title.
The situation wasn’t helped with Portrush having a few injuries throughout the squad and a change of keeper, as Matt Jordan stepped up for the first time this season. However, with much preparation throughout the week through training and changes to Portrush’s tactics, the team were feeling more composed in this meeting of the two.
As the game commenced no team had the upper hand, as Portrush defended well and looked dangerous on the counter attacks. Portadown were very good at controlling the game by keeping possession of the ball and attacking in units, which eventually worked, 20 minutes into the first half Portadown found a break through the Portrush defence to make a pass to the back post for a striker to tap in the first goal of the game 1-0.
Though Portrush didn’t back down and threatened the Portadown goal on multiple occasions soon after the first goal, many close shots and two short corners in the first half but the Portadown defence just couldn’t be broken down and the first half ended still 1-0.
As the second half commenced a similar game carried on, Portrush were soaking up the pressure from Portadown, making it extremely difficult for the County Armagh team to get anywhere near the Portrush goal.
As the second half carried on the Ports began to tire, and with Portadown’s constant roll on-roll off substitutions it was difficult for Portrush to keep up, until Portadown made another break through, with a thunderous high ball an unlucky deflection found the ball at the Portrush goal making it 2-0.
In the later stages of the second half Portrush were getting battered and bruised, but it didn’t stop the Portrush boys who kept attacking the Portadown defence, but the Portadown keeper was on form and wasn’t letting anything through, and it was long after from a counter attack Portadown broke through to score a third and last goal of the game ending up at 3-0 to the visitors.
Another disappointing loss for Portrush, but many positive to be taken from the game, progress can be seen and the hard work and training is beginning to show as Portrush are showing they aren’t going to be a walk over in this league, Matt Jordan’s first game was a great performance as he pulled off some tremendous saves. Portrush travel to Stormount this Saturday to play the PSNI hockey team in what is an essential game for the Ports.
Portrush: Matt Jordan, Neil McMaster, Ryan Smith, Philip Linton, Aaron Kerr, Andrew Christie, Leon Smith, Callum McKeeman, Brent Smith, Lewis Greene, Graeme Christie, Barry McMullan, Richard McNabb
Man of the Match: Matt Jordan