Ports boss Gary Taylor has paid tribute to his side despite their 3-1 defeat at Limavady on Saturday.
The Championship Two side are sitting second bottom of the table and look set for relegation, but despite their position, they put in a good shift at Limavady Showgrounds on Saturday.
“The 3-1 result doesn’t tell the full tale, “admitted Taylor.
“We battled very hard.
“We lost John Neill in the warm up and to be honest we are really down to the bare bones.
“Fair play to the boys, they put in a really good shift. The only difference being their striker, Cahir Friel, had four chances on goal and scored three of them.”
Portstewart started the tie well. Joel Madison denied the Roesiders a goal when he saved a penalty from Friel midway through the first half.
The first goal of the tie came when Portstewart were on the attack, a long ball fooled the Ports defence and Friel knocked in two minutes from time.
Portstewart came out fighting for the second spell, but despite their efforts another long ball was hit in off the post by Friel to put the Roesiders 2-0 in front.
David McClements found the net from a free kick, and it looked like the Ports could salvage something from the game. However their were caught ten minutes from time when Friel hit home again, leaving the final score 3-1.
Taylor praised teenager Paddy Gault who was given his first start: “Paddy did very well on Saturday.
“He passed the ball well and wasn’t put off playing against some very experience players.
“Our attentions now turn to Saturday, when we play Newington at home.
“Every game is a battle for us now. Our focus is just to get a few points on the board.
“If I had to put my finger on one thing, it’s that we are not taking our chances. We are creating plenty of chances, we have been all year, but we are just not putting them away. It’s as simple as that, you can’t win games if you don’t score goals,” said Taylor, who had to name himself as a sub on Saturday.
Changes to the league structure for next season will see five teams being relegated in Championship Two.
After Saturday’s results, the five bottom teams are Newington, Dundela, Coagh United, Portstewart and Wakehurst