Blues hit rock bottom


GLENAVON crashed to the foot of the table on Friday night as rivals Portadown condemned them to their third defeat in four Carling Premiership matches.

After a scrappy first half, the Blues went 1-0 down early on in the second and, similar to the previous week, couldn’t covert possession into goals.

The Blues had a lot of play in the closing 20 minutes but didn’t find a route to goal with a strong shout for a penalty turned down in injury time.

Manager Marty Quinn says his side’s winless run is putting on the pressure and bemoaned their lack of goals, which has led to some disappointing defeats.

“The pressure’s building up but it’s from within,” he said.

“We need to start getting three points on the board, that’s for sure. Hopefully we can start doing that at Solitude and then again on Saturday against DC.

“We had a lot of play in the second period against Portadown and a shout for handball at the end. I didn’t see it though. I’ll have to do an Arsene Wenger on that one. I was too far away in the dugout but the players after the match said it was a blatant handball but there you go.

“When you’re down you don’t get those decisions and you have to make your own luck.

“Mark Miskimmin came in, was very lively and did himself no harm at all. He tried a cheeky chip with one that he maybe should have got more on but he’s hungry and he did very well.

“What pleased me was that we were defensively a lot tighter. The goal was so unlucky from a shot-cum-cross that Andy Coleman didn’t deal with very well and we got punished for it.”

Miskimmin came into the starting line-up for the first time this season with Diarmuid O’Carroll shifting to right wing and Peter McCann moving in to the centre of midfield with Ryan Harpur suspended. Kyle Neill also came in as Mark Turkington was dropped to the bench.

Miskimmin looked lively throughout the game, and certainly provides a different threat to Kevin Kelbie and Diarmuid O’Carroll who have so far struggled to bother defences. On eight minutes, the former Linfield man forced a good save from David Miskelly as the keeper tipped his effort over the bar.

That was, however, the Blues’ only real chance of the half and there weren’t many at the other end either.

Jamie Tomelty smashed a 20-yard effort at goal but it was well stopped by the fully stretched Andy Coleman.

Tomelty then turned provider as his corner-kick found Tim Mouncey but his back-post header was well cleared off the line by Jay Magee.

Two minutes into the second half, Portadown sent out a warning shot as Wes Boyle’s deflected effort tested Coleman.

However, just another two minutes later, Sean Mackle’s dipping right wing cross was palmed into the six-yard box by Andy Coleman and Matthew Tipton couldn’t miss, smashing into the roof of the net.

Four minutes later, Mark Miskimmin could have equalised but his tight angled shot went wide of goal.

The Blues continued to push forward but Mark Haughey’s back-post header from Kyle Neill’s corner went wide before, on 74 minutes, Mark Miskimmin was denied by a great piece of defending.

The forward managed to burst past his marker before beating Miskelly with a neat finish but Chris Ramsey wasn’t to be so easily defeated and he tracked back to somehow scoop the ball over the bar before it could cross the line.

As Andy Graham replaced the disappointing Kelbie, Glenavon continued to press in search of the illusive equaliser but on 89 minutes, Miskimmin was again denied by the eager Ramsey, who blocked his stern effort.

The Blues’ final chance came two minutes into injury time when, after O’Carroll’s shot was well stopped by Miskelly, Niall Henderson’s effort seemed to be blocked by a Portadown hand. However, referee Stephen Wetherall had little time for the Glenavon protests.

And so, Glenavon were condemned to a second successive defeat as their tough start the to the season continued.

PORTADOWN: Miskelly, Ramsey, O’Hara, Redman, Mouncey, Tomelty, Mackle, McCabe, Lecky, Tipton, Boyle (McCloskey 73 (McCafferty 82)).

Unused Subs: Tuda Murphy, Paget, Burns.

GLENAVON: Coleman, Shannon, Neill, Jay Magee, Haughey, Henderson, O’Carroll, Miskimmin, Kelbie (Graham 75), D Magee, McCann.

Unused Subs: Jonny Magee, Doherty, Turkington, O’Hare.