Portadown 3-3 Cliftonville

A late penalty by George McMullan saw Premiership leaders Cliftonville salvage a 3-3 draw away to Portadown.

The Ports led through a Kevin Braniff shot and were 2-0 up soon after the break when skipper McMullan's backpass gifted a goal to Darren Murray.

Joe Gormley swept in a quick response for Cliftonville and sub Barry Johnston shot past David Miskelly for 2-2.

A Braniff header restored Portadown's lead but Sean Mackle's foul on Ronan Scannell led to the Reds' spot-kick.

Portadown's Kevin Braniff shields the ball from Cliftonville opponent Jamie McGovern
Portadown's Kevin Braniff shields the ball from Cliftonville opponent Jamie McGovern

The two dropped points mean Cliftonville's lead over second-placed Crusaders has been cut to five points.

However, their boss Tommy Breslin will probably be the happier of the managers as they trailed for most of the match and their goals were largely down to Portadown mistakes.

It had all looked so good for Portadown when they took a 20th-minute lead through dangerman Braniff.

He ran on to a long ball from Ryan Burns and directed a low shot past Conor Devlin.

Just before that, home keeper Miskelly pulled off a fine fingertip save from Joe Gormley's fine strike.

Cliftonville pressed for an equaliser before the interval with Liam Boyce heading a good chance wide with Miskelly off his line.

Portadown went two up early in the second half when a bad backpass by Reds skipper McMullan went straight to Murray who kept his head to round Devlin and score.

Cliftonville got a goal back in the 56th minute when Miskelly dropped McMullan's high ball into the box and Gormley was there to sweep in at the far post.

Diarmuid O'Carroll headed a good chance wide but Cliftonville equalised in the 78th minute - Johnston's swerving shot catching out Miskelly who was committed to diving the wrong way.

Portadown looked to have grabbed a late winner when Braniff headed in from a corner on 86 minutes.

However, Cliftonville were saved when Mackle's ill-judged tackle on Scannell gave McMullan the chance to make it 3-3 from the penalty spot.

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