Marcio Soares (41)

1

Jordan Owens (10)

1

Sean Mackle shields the ball from Declan Caddell (Picture: Stephen Hamilton/PressEye.com)

PORTS HOLD CRUES TO PICK UP CRUCIAL POINT

Portadown grabbed what could well be a valuable point with this draw at home to league leaders Crusaders.

The Crues moved into the lead after just ten minutes through Jordan Owens after he did well to control a long ball delivered to the edge of the area before unleashing a strong shot into the top corner.

Then, soon after, Jordan Forsythe played Declan Caddell through but he failed to hit the target, turning the ball just wide of the left post.

Portadown's best chance up to that point then came after 'keeper Jack Duffin's goal kick was met by Adam Foley but Crues 'keeper Sean O'Neill did well to come out to block the threat.

The Ports had another effort when Matt Hazley's free-kick wasn't cleared with Ross Larkin's subsequent shot being hacked away by the Crues defence.

But Niall Currie's side did level just before the break when another Duffin long ball was knocked into the net by Marcio Soares after he held off the attentions of a defender to beat O'Neill.

Forsythe might have restored Crusaders' lead after the break but his shot, which was on target, was deflected away.

For the Ports, Hazley sent the ball in for Sean Mackle but he was inches away from grabbing what might have been the winner.

And just before the end, substitute Jamie Gardiner cut through the visiting defence before laying the ball off for Robert Garrett but he couldn't find a way past O'Neill who gathered at the second attempt.

Portadown: Duffin, Carson, R. Larkin, Shannon, Hazley, Henderson, Garrett, Mackle, McGerrigan, Soares, Foley subs C. Larkin (not used), Lyttle (not used), Gardiner (replaced Foley 87), Ferris (replaced Soares 87), Mulvenna (not used)

Crusaders: O'Neill, Burns, Coates, Lowry, Carvill, Caddell, Forsythe, McClean, Owens, Keane, Whyte subs Mitchell (replaced Coates 46), Cushley (replaced Lowry 65), Dougherty (not used), Clarke (not used), Suarez (replaced Carvill 78)

Referee: Sultan Al-Harbi

Attendance: 702

Tags:  Crusaders  Portadown