Celine Curtis (40)



Crusaders Strikers claimed their first win of the season by defeating Portadown Ladies 1-0 in the first ever competitive fixture between the sides.

Crusaders started strongly and had the first chance after Celine Curtis produced a world class save from Ports 'keeper Megan McCabe. The home side responded with more attacking football and shots from Julie Henderson and Rachel Kerr went off target.

The North Belfast side opened the scoring in the 40th minute when Morganne Beggs set up Curtis and she fired home inside the area to break the deadlock. Almost immediately after going behind Portadown tested Nicole Adams in the Crusaders goal through a powerful shot from Aisling McKenna.

A tight second half kicked off and the first chance of it fell to Portadown. Rachel McConnell played in McKenna but again Adams saved well. McConnell had shots on target in the 67th and 70th minute again working Adams. Emily Wilson was proving to be the biggest threat for Crusaders and fired over the cross bar just after the 70th minute.

The Ports kept the pressure on and where pushing for the equaliser, McKenna going close right at the death when her free kick went over the cross bar.

Match Highlights

Portadown Ladies: McCabe, Donaldson, Adamson, Hall, McAllister, McConnell, Kerr, McKenna, Henderson, Bolger, Silva subs Hoye (replaced Silva 74), Duffy (not used), Ruddy (replaced Bolger 64), Ashe (replaced Donaldson 82)

Crusaders Strikers: Adams, Archibald, Nelson, McCann, McNeill, Orr, Wright, Curtis, McDowell, Beggs, Wilson subs Murray (replaced McDowell 56), Watters (replaced Orr 50), Moore (replaced Archibald 34), Mearns (not used), Hamilton (not used)

Referee: Neil McArdle