IT won’t be much consolation to Port Glasgow that this was one of the best matches they have been involved in this season.

It was end-to-end stuff right from the word go, as the pre-match indication of lots of goals proved to be correct.

The Port suffered a setback minutes before the match got underway, when lively recent signing Dylan McLaughlin suffered a knee injury during the warm-up and had to be removed from the planned starting 11.

Undaunted, though, they started brightly and took the lead after just eight minutes.

A long ball from Eddie Walton found Jamie McKenna, and the striker slotted home to put the Port ahead.

The advantage lasted only a few minutes, though, as a ball over the top of the Port defence saw Jordan Logan ride two challenges before homing in on keeper Robbie Graham and firing home to level the score.

The home side then took the lead on 16 minutes, with the move started by a similar high ball. Graham should have got to this one, though, but a misjudgement allowed Baboucarr Musa to pinch the ball and give St Roch’s a 2-1 lead.

As both sides continued to attack at every opportunity, parity was restored 10 minutes before half-time.

A through-ball by Kevin McKay from the left hand side sent McKenna in on goal, only to be brought down by the home keeper. But referee Ross MacLeod allowed advantage as Steven McAfee ran on to the loose ball and blasted home.

It was all Port Glasgow at this point, as they drove forward in a bid to establish an interval lead.

But it was St Roch’s who went in 3-2 ahead at the break, as Steven Bryson headed home from a corner kick in the dying seconds of the opening period.

The second half was never likely to match the drama of the first, but there was still plenty of good play and near things to keep the decent sized crowd engrossed.

McKenna came close on the hour mark when he was sent clear on goal but saw his effort shave the outside of a post and drift wide.

But it was St Roch’s who got the decisive next goal, which just about killed off the Port’s hopes of getting at least a point.

It was a spectacular effort, with Daryl Naismith blasting an unstoppable free-kick at the edge of the box high into the net to send the home support into raptures.

With 10 minutes remaining, McAfee had a golden chance to get his second goal and bring the Port back into the game.

A break down the right by McKenna saw the striker square the ball to McAfee, but with the goal at his mercy, his side-footed shot went past the post.

Although the defeat was disappointing for the Port, St Roch’s are the form team in the league at the moment, and this win was the first time in four years that they have racked up three consecutive league wins. The points also puts them right back in the promotion race, a race the Port are still not completely out of, although this defeat makes it all the more difficult.

Port boss Craig Brown said: “Things didn’t go our way at key moments in the game.

“I think the match could have gone either way, but losing that late goal right on half-time was a hammer blow.

“St Roch’s played well, but they got the breaks at vital times, and we were unlucky to lose that match.’’ Port Glasgow: Graham, Knight, McClement (Black 65), Walton, Coyle, Gault (McCormick 70), Kearns, McKay, McKenna, McAfee, Jamieson. Sub not used: Stevenson.

Port Glasgow Juniors are sponsored by Regents Vehicle Sales, Greenock, and MAC HSL Ltd.