Heavy away defeat for Gilford Crusaders

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Normally any game where Gilford scored three goals would be a cause for celebration. However, when you have conceded nine goals in the process then celebration is the last thing that comes to mind.

After a hearty feed, the boys set off for Portadown looking to secure their first points of the season against Portadown BBOB.

On a pitch more suited to a tractor pull, it wasn’t long until the wheels came off for Gilford. Unbelievably, it was the Crusaders who opened the scoring with only two minutes on the clock.

A long kick out by Ryan Burns was quickly latched onto by Dominic Donnelly who looped a high ball into the BBOB box.

Chris Magee then played the ball to the back post where Robbie McCrory headed Gilford into the lead.

Gilford almost doubled their lead two minutes later, when a shot from Jamie McGivern bobbled viciously before being saved by the keeper.

If this effort had found the net then the game could have turned out so differently.

Instead Portadown took the match by the scruff of the neck and, on the back of some lax defending, proceeded to kill it as a contest with seven well taken, but preventable, goals, scored before half time.

Gilford were offered a very brief glimmer of hope at 6-1 when a speculative drive from Chris Magee some 45 yards out beat the Portadown keeper.

The second half was more of a case of damage limitation than any real chance of victory with Gilford ringing the changes by bringing Stephen O’Hare for Ryan Burns with Jamie Devlin taking over in goals.

Gilford’s last hurrah came in the 53rd minute when a long range free kick by Emmid Scullion scythed through the Portadown defence leaving the keeper helpless.

Four minutes later a rash challenge by Stephen O’Hare saw BBOB awarded a penalty, which was duly converted.

Manager Stephen McArdle replaced the injured Jamie McGivern in the 70th minute, shortly before Emmid Scullion turned from hero to villain when he earned himself a second yellow, and an early bath for a body check.

Gilford continued the match looking to stop the rot but Portadown were able to extend their lead again when they strolled to their ninth and final goal before referee Bisto Smith, mercifully, blew the final whistle.

So, a dreadful result which will see some hard work on the training ground in the coming weeks.

Gilford do not have a match next Saturday, however the club are hosting a family fun day next Saturday 29th August, 12.00pm at Gilford Community Centre. Tell all your friends, come along, bring the family and have some fun.