Football: Moyola Park remain top with win over Portstewart

Action from Moyola Park's recent game with Portstewart
Action from Moyola Park's recent game with Portstewart

Moyola Park continued the great early season vein of form by defeating Portstewart by 5-2 at Mill Meadow at the weekend

Jason Paul opened the scoring in the third minute when his shot was deflected by a Portstewart defender past Joel Madison. Conor Deane set up a goal scoring opportunity for Chris Dowie but his shot went narrowly wide of Madison’s left upright.

James Peden crossed the ball towards the Moyola Park goal in the 8th minute only to see it comfortably held by Marty Farniok.

The usually free scoring Dowie once again was off target following good work down the left wing by Robbie Lucas and Eugene Gallagher after 12 minutes.

Just before the half hour mark Jason Paul doubled his tally when from a Deane pass he cut inside a defender and sent a rasping shot into the top corner of Madison’s net.

Two minutes later Maurice Curtis headed the ball back towards Farniok and in a goalmouth scramble Portstewart had a penalty appeal turned down by referee Eddie Ferguson.

Ryan Doherty’s 20 yard shot forced Farniok to make a good save in the 34th minute. Seconds later Doherty made no mistake when he fired the ball into Farniok’s net to reduce the arrears.

One minute before the interval a Curtis corner kick from the right was headed back across the visitors’ goal by Steven McQuillan to Deane who headed past Madison to regain Moyola Park’s two goal lead at the interval.

In the early minutes of the second half Doherty threatened the Moyola Park defence but with no effective end product.

Gallagher provided an excellent pass to substitute Darren Walls; his resultant shot being saved by Madison.

The final 10 minutes of the game saw a flurry of activity. Eight minutes before the final whistle substitute Aaron McGowan edged the visitors back into contention when he rattled David McClements’ pass into the Moyola Park net.

However Mervyn Pattison’s men restored the two goal lead when Gallagher provided the pass for Walls to shoot past Madison.

The final goal of the game came in time added on when Walls made good ground down the left wing before setting David Paul up to score his side’s fifth and final goal of the game.

With four wins and one draw from the opening five games in the NIFL Belfast Telegraph Championship Two, Moyola Park have a three point advantage over second placed Lurgan Celtic.

Moyola Park: Marty Farniok, Craig McAllister, Maurice Curtis (Darren Walls 63), Steven McQuillan, Steven Kelly, Mark Waddell, Robbie Lucas, Eugene Gallagher, Chris Dowie (David Paul 81), Conor Deane, Jason Paul. Unused subs: Steven Kenning, Michael Walsh, Diarmud Larkin.

Portstewart: Joel Madison, Luke Bradley, Ryan Campbell, James Peden, John Neill, Dean Murray, David McClements, Lee Forgrave, Nigel Turner, Johnny Stewart, Ryan Doherty. Substitutes: Aaron McGowan, Conor McNamee, Mark Mearns, Gary Taylor.

Referee: Eddie Ferguson.