Portadown 2-0 Coleraine

Conor McCluskey celebrates with team-mates after giving Portadown the lead
Conor McCluskey celebrates with team-mates after giving Portadown the lead

Portadown reclaimed second place in the Irish Premiership on goal difference by beating Coleraine at Shamrock Park.

Conor McCloskey gave the Ports a 17th-minute lead, shooting in from 12 yards after Kevin Braniff's perfectly-weighted ball from the right.

Coleraine felt they should have had a penalty when substitute Aaron Boyd was tripped by Neil McCafferty but referee Colin Burns did not give it.

Richard Lecky then got number two for the Ports eight minutes from the end.

Lecky's header came off a post but the lanky striker was first to react and force the ball in.

Portadown and Cliftonville are on 65 points, 12 behind champions Linfield who look to have their sixth Premiership title in seven seasons in the bag.

The Ports, though, will be happy to have stretched the gap between themselves and fourth-placed Coleraine as the race for Europa League places hots up.

"We did not play that well but we worked hard and the three points were what mattered," said Ports defender Brian Gartland.

"There are seven points between us and fourth place now and, with five games to go, it takes the pressure off a bit."

On Coleraine's spot-kick claim, Gartland admitted: "It looked a stonewall penalty, but that is how it goes.

"You get some decisions and some you don't."