Billy Joe Burns (79)
Jordan Owens (80)

2

Michael Gault (07)
Mark McAllister (60)
Darren Murray (65)

3

Mark McAllister is congratulated by his Portadown team-mates (Picture: Stephen Hamilton/PressEye.com)

PORTS HOLD ON AT SEAVIEW

Portadown almost let a three-goal lead slip in this entertaining encounter at Seaview.

Michael Gault headed the Ports in front as early as the seventh minute after he was given the space to connect with a long Darren Murray throw to the near post.

The Ports doubled their advantage on the hour when Mark McAllister met a Garry Breen clearance to hold off David Magowan before firing past Sean O'Neill into the bottom corner.

And five minutes after that it was 3-0 to the visitors when Sean Mackle poked the ball through for Murray to confidently take the ball round O'Neill and into the unguarded net.

But the Crues set up a grandstand finish with two goals within a minute late in the game.

On 79 minutes Billy Joe Burns pulled one back with a deflected effort from the edge of the area which gave David Miskelly no chance.

Then, ninety seconds later, Jordan Owens grabbed a second with a shot over the 'keeper after meeting a Gavin Whyte cross.

However, the Ports held on to claim the points that keeps them top of the standings.

Crusaders: O'Neill, Coates, Hanley, Magowan, Friars, Caddell, Clarke, Whyte, Heatley, Owens, Burns subs McClean (replaced Friars 65), Snoddy (not used), O'Carroll (replaced Hanley 65), McCutcheon (not used), Adamson (not used)

Portadown: Miskelly, Casement, Redman, Ramsey, Breen, P. McMahon, Mackle, Murray, McAllister, Gault, Garrett subs Brennan (not used), Mouncey (replaced Murray 86), Twigg (replaced McAllister 79), Conaty (not used), Lyttle (not used)

Referee: Raymond Crangle

Attendance: 893

Tags:  Crusaders  Portadown