Saturday 23rd October
3pm Kick Off
Having once enjoyed an intense rivalry with Glentoran that saw the two teams regularly challenge each other in top of the table clashes and the later stages of cup competitions, it is somewhat surprising that the Ports have not won a league match at the Oval since December 2013. On that occasion, goals from strikers Gary Twigg and Darren Murray gave Ronnie McFall’s men a 2-0 victory that brought an end to an eight-game unbeaten run for the Glens.
Glentoran won all three games between the sides last year, the Ports having gained promotion the previous term. In the first game at the Oval, played on January 2nd, goals from Paddy McClean and Jay Donnelly in the first 15 mins put Glentoran in control, but the Shamrock Park side improved after the break and Adam Salley’s 81st minute strike set up a tense finish. The second game in April proved much easier for Mick McDermott’s team, however, a double for Rory Donnelly and second half goals from Robbie McDaid and Andy Mitchell sealing a 4-0 win. So far this season, Matthew Tipton’s side have struggled to pick up results, winning just once in eight games (and that a narrow win at basement side Warrenpoint) and losing four of their last five to sit in 10th place. There is much reliance on highly rated striker Lee Bonis to lead the line, but he has only managed two goals so far, making him joint top scorer with summer signing Sammie McLeod and Ruairi Croskery.
Last Saturday’s home loss to fellow strugglers Ballymena came with an added cost for Tipton; with midfielder Oisin Conaty and ex Glentoran right back Nathan Kerr picking up red cards that will rule them out of this game. Croskery and defender Oran Jackson have picked up long term injuries that could sideline them for several months, while Captain Luke Wilson, midfielder Callum McVeigh and experienced defender Paddy NcNally are working their way back to fitness after missing recent matches. Tipton will hope to be able to call upon forward Eoin Teggart, however, the ex Portsmouth and Cliftonville youngster having signed as a free agent.
Mick McDermott:” Last week’s game v Coleraine was an entertaining one. I thought we sat off them too much in the first ten minutes, which allowed them space to play. That is how they got their lead. But from the last twenty-five minutes of the first half we were the dominant team. We had four shots on target and plenty of control. We continued that after the break and apart from the poor goal we conceded, we were comfortable and played well in the second half. It was very frustrating to only get a point through losing a very preventable goal, against an experienced team who we know are very good on the counterattack. But I can’t fault the effort and commitment our players showed, even when we went down to 10-men
On the incident involving Aaron McCarey and Bobby Burns, we have dealt with it in house and within club procedures, which is the only way to do it. Aaron has accepted responsibility for his actions and has apologised to Bobby and to his teammates and now we will be without him for three games. I have always stated that we have a strong group of goalkeepers in Ross Glendinning and Elliott Morris, and I know both are more than capable of coming in and doing very well in the Danske Bank Premiership.
Over the past few weeks we’ve missed a couple of very important players in Marcus Kane and Shay McCartan. We’re all aware of the importance of Moko’s presence and influence as skipper and this injury has interrupted Shay’s start at Glentoran. Also Joe Crowe had come on and done well in the league game at Mourneview but has been out with an injury and subsequent illness. He’s also a valuable squad member so he will be very welcome back when he’s available.
I’m pleased to welcome Matthew Tipton and Portadown to the Bet McLean Oval. The Ports have had a difficult start to the league campaign, but they’re a young team with some very talented players and Matthew always makes sure they try to play the game the right way. We’re under no illusions that their supporters will be well behind them today, given the historic spice added to Glentoran-Portadown matches, but our boys are well prepared and well up for it so we will definitely be looking for a very strong performance and the three points.”
Tomorrow's match will be streamed live by GlensTV with Performa Sports for those unable to make it to the Bet McLean Oval.
The stream will cost £10 and will be available online at the following site from our own bespoke club page:
The game will be filmed by David Kerr of GlensTV. Commentator for the match will be Matthew Brown alongside our multi title winning captain Paul Leeman. Other Glentoran Legends will join us for matches at various points in the season.
Performa Sports have published a handy Q&A section on their website for any queries users have about the service: https://help.performatv.com/en/collections/2792481-faqs
As always at home matches, we strongly request that supporters respect the rights of the local residents by parking well away from housefronts in the immediate locality. There is plenty of available parking at the Holywood Arches Heath Centre.
Saturday’s match sponsor is Box-it Ireland Ltd.
Box-it Ireland Limited have over 25 years’ experience in manufacturing of bespoke corrugated boxes. Based in Belfast & Newry, the company covers all of Ireland, supplying boxes into multiple sectors, including Food, Manufacturing, Pharmaceutical, Medical and Online Retailers.
For a free quotation, as well as additional information about any of our packing material supply services, contact us using the details below.
Unit 11, 40 Montgomery Road Belfast BT6 9HL
Phone 028 9002 5543
Monday - Thursday: 7am - 5pm
Friday: 7am - 1pm