Irish Premiership: Crusaders fight back to defeat Portadown

Aidan Wilson's header creeps past keeper Jacob carney and into the Portadown net
Aidan Wilson's header creeps past keeper Jacob carney and into the Portadown net

Crusaders struck twice in two second-half minutes to beat Portadown 2-1 at Shamrock Park and end a run of four straight Premiership defeats.

Adam Salley's deflected backpost shot put the hosts ahead on 63 minutes.

Aidan Wilson headed in from a Paul Heatley corner to level and it was quickly followed by substitute Jordan Owens hitting the bottom corner.

Crues striker Jamie McGonigle saw his late penalty saved but the Seaview men secured the three points.

Both sides created openings in an evenly contested first half with Ports striker Lee Bonis firing wide before Crues midfielder Philip Lowry was denied by a superb Jacob Carney save.

Portadown made the breakthrough when the Crues failed to clear from a free-kick and Sally's strike hit Declan Caddell to take it over a diving Sean O'Neill.

Late rally

The visitors were on course for another defeat until 11 minutes from time when Wilson climbed high at the backpost to head across goal and into the net.

It was 2-1 just two minutes later as the fall fell to Owens and he smacked it past Carney to put Stephen Baxter's side in front.

Carney made an impressive save to keep out McGonigle's spot-kick - awarded for Greg Hall foul on Adam Lecky, but it didn't stop the Crues picking up a much-needed victory.

What they said

Crusaders boss Stephen Baxter: "We're very pleased with the performance - if we'd lost that game we would have been massively disappointed as we were outstanding."

Portadown manager Matthew Tipton: "We're a bit deflated - they boys played well and put their bodies on the line. I felt we switched off for the two goals we gave away."

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