Portadown 3 Ards 1
Portadown Football Club were facing more questions after Robert Garrett played in their 3-1 win over Ards at Shamrock Park this afternoon.
Garrett scored in the second half for Portadown but the Irish FA’s suspension list, issued on October 10, listed the former Northern Ireland international. According to information on the IFA’s website, Garrett’s one match ban for five bookings was due to start on Monday October 24.
As Portadown did not have a mid-week competitive game, that would suggest the former Linfield man was ineligible for today’s encounter with Ards.
After the match, Portadown’s caretaker manager Vinny Arkins said, “I spoke to the club briefly before the game regarding that issue, and I was told he was clear to play as his suspension doesn’t kick-in until the following Monday, so as far as I’m concerned he was clear to play.
“I know that someone from Ards did indicate before kick-off that they believed he was suspended, so they obviously know more about it than we do. They are obviously getting information from somebody other than us.”
While the case probably has some distance left to run, it’s an unwelcome distraction for Portadown who are still reeling from confirmation of their 12 point deduction for undisclosed payments.
On the pitch, there was no doubt that Portadown deserved the points, even though Ards took the lead in the 17th minute.
Ards were awarded a penalty when David McAllister’s effort was blocked by the hand of Alan Byrne. Michael Ruddy made no mistake from 12 yards.
Garrett, who produced a man of the match display, equalised in the 54th minute with a low drive.
It was 2-1 in the 63rd minute. Stephen Hughes fired a shot high into Aaron Hogg’s net.
Portadown put the result beyond doubt when Brendan Shannon converted spot kick against his old side with 12 minutes left on the clock.
Portadown: McGaughey; Parker, Oman, Byrne, O’Hara; Garrett, Henderson, Shannon, Carson; Hughes, Haire
Subs: Kirwan, Simpson, Ferris, Wilson, Larkin
Ards: Hogg; Brennan, Friars, Taylor, Hogg; Tommons, McCullough; McMillen, McKinney, McAllister; Liggett
Subs: Arthurs, Keke, Douglas, McComb, McMullan
Ref: Ian McNabb