Irish Premiership: Portadown 1-1 Crusaders

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Portadown's Peter McMahon in action against Crusaders Paul Leeman

Title hopefuls Crusaders dropped another two points as they had to settle for a 1-1 draw at Portadown.

It means the third-placed Crues have taken just three points from their last four matches.

Sean Mackle fired the Ports into a third-minute lead with a superb strike into the top corner.

Crusaders equalised on 10 minutes through winger Paul Heatley who shot past home keeper David Miskelly after a run to the edge of the area.

Declan Caddell had a chance to put Crusaders into the lead but failed to loft the ball over Miskelly while for Portadown Peter McMahon saw a shot strike a post and Gary Breen headed wide from Chris Casement's delivery.

In the second half Crusaders thought they had got the winner when Heatley's shot was diverted in by defender Paul Leeman.

However, after consulting an assistant, referee Raymond Crangle ruled it out for offside.

"I didn't know a lot about it but the decision was a difficult one for us to take," said Leeman.

"The referee had given the goal at first - there was no flag but there seemed to be some uncertainty and a lot of Portadown players surrounded the referee.

"We feel a bit aggrieved but we are proud of a good performance."

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