Slane hand over Cup place with poor performance in Portadown

Moneyslane arrived in Portadown with high hopes of progressing into the next round of the Marshall Cup.

However, they were without three players as Adair remains injured, Anderson was unavailable and Nesbitt cup tied.

The opening exchanges were even on what was a very poor pitch at Brownstown Park, Portadown. The first chance of the game fell to Bingham but he drove over from 30 yards with the keeper out of position.

Then good passing between Harrison and Gracey teed up Fairley who fired just wide. Hanover had chances as well with two headers narrowly missing the target. Moneyslane struggled to get any meaningful possession whereas the home team seemed to be finding their passes at will.

Hanover took the lead on 43 minutes when a defensive header caught the Slane back-line appealing in vain for offside and the striker steadied himself before firing in off the post.

The expected reaction to such a poor first-half for Slane did not materialise as with 10 minutes of the restart, the home team doubled their lead from a free header 12 yards out, the ball finding the bottom corner. Slane seemed shell-shocked but it got worse five minutes later when, after seeing the initial shot blocked, Hanover’s midfielder picked up the rebound, rounded a few defenders and tucked the ball into the corner.

Ervine came on for Fairley as Slane went three up to try to get back into the game but it made little difference. Right on full-time, Moneyslane scored a consolation goal when Kerr headed home from a corner but it was too little too late.

Manager David Johnston said: “It’s a bitterly disappointing result but even more-so is the performance.

“For 90 minutes I thought we were second best in every department. Recent good performances were built on pressing teams high and good passing but today was the opposite as we failed to compete or pass the ball well.

“All of their goals were very poor defensively and the heads dropped way too easily. The players need to learn from this and bounce back in the next game away to Seagoe FC.”

MONEYSLANE: Blevins, Weir, Boyd, Murdoch, Quinn, Kerr, Fairley, Bingham, Gracey, Whitten, Harrison.

Subs: Davenport, Shilliday, Ervine, Rowland.