It was a day when Glentoran fans, past players and former managers gathered to celebrate the 130th anniversary of the club but on the field it turned out to be an extremely disappointing afternoon as a late penalty saw Portadown snatch all 3 points.
Stuart Elliott shot across goal in the 5th minute whilst at the other end it took a quarter of an hour before Elliott Morris was called into action. Darren Murray’s shot from the edge of the area didn’t really trouble the Glens’ keeper though. Morris then miscued a clearance, presenting Murray with a change but the alert Jay Magee was on hand to clear the danger. Mark Patton was booked for a clear dive in the area on 32 minutes and a minute later Elliott Morris was quickly out to block Mackle’s effort. Some hesitant play at the back presented Kevin Braniff with an opportunity but again Morris was equal to it. Midfielder Stephen McAlorum got possession of the ball on the edge of the Portadown penalty area (36) but a poor first touch allowed the Ports defence to clear. In stoppage time Jay Magee pulled up with a thigh injury and had to be replaced by Jimmy Callacher.
After a poor first half the Glens started the second in a more positive frame of mind. On 47 minutes Kane and Howland combined well on the left before the latter whipped in a dangerous cross which was well collected by Miskelly. 3 minutes later David Howland tried his luck from 25 yards but failed to hit the target. On the hour a great pass from Jim O’Hanlon put sean Ward clear down the right wing. Ward’s cross was initially gathered by McAlorum but he was closed down before he could get a shot on target. Nixon blocked a Braniff effort (66) and then the visitors almost went in front when, on 69 minutes, Chris Casement’s header from a corner was cleared off the line. Kane forced a corner (77) which was swung over by O’Hanlon. A group of Glentoran players attacked the ball only to see it stopped on the goal line and hacked clear. There was a let off for Glentoran on 81 minutes when skipper, Colin Nixon failed to control the ball on the edge of the area, presenting it to Patton. He crossed to Murray who blasted over the bar. 6 minutes from time Glentoran were awarded a free kick 25 yards from the Portadown goal. Stuart Elliott stepped up but his poor effort came back of the wall and the Ports counter-attacked. The ball reached Braniff on the edge of the area and he was felled as Morris rushed out to attempt to clear. Despite Sean Ward being in a covering position referee Crangle produced a red card for the Glens keeper and Darren Murray then beat stand-in keeper, Jimmy Callacher from the spot.
Highlights from BBC Sport NI HERE
Glentoran: Morris, Ward, Kane, Nixon (capt), Magee, M. Clarke, Howland, McAlorum, Newberry, O'Hanlon & Elliott.
Subs: Callacher for Magee (45), McComb for Newberry (63) and R. Clarke for McAlorum (77).