Portadown boss Ronnie McFall admitted a serious injury to Darren Murray had overshadowed his side’s victory against Dungannon Swifts.
The striker scored after 47 seconds to help the Ports to another win – but his afternoon ended early following a suspected torn hamstring.
It is thought to be a reoccurrence of the injury he suffered against Coleraine last month, and could keep him out for two months.
McFall admitted it was a major setback for his team.
“It’s a bad injury – it’s a tear,” he said.
“You’re talking at least six to eight weeks – he won’t be back quickly from that, unfortunately for us.
“It’s a massive blow because he’s been doing really well for us.”
It was Murray who put the Ports on the path to victory.
An error from Ricky Copeland gave away possession, with Murray taking a pass from Kevin Braniff before lofting home a delightful strike.
“He scored a superb goal for us,” added McFall.
“Murray is young and enthusiastic. He is good in the air and can score a goal, as he showed today.
“We lost that bit of impetus when he went off.
“A few of our players also have been struggling with a bug and that didn’t help.”
Braniff doubled the Ports’ lead in the 31st minute when he capitalised on another mistake in the visitors’ back line.
It finally drew a response from Dungannon, with Jamie Douglas pulling a goal back soon afterwards from a David McCullough cross.
Douglas then struck the woodwork with the ball falling for McCullough, but he was brilliantly denied twice by David Miskelly.
The Portadown goalkeeper also made top-class saves to thwart Darren Boyce and Stefan Lavery.
McFall said the result took priority.
“We had a few chances early on and could have been out of sight, but then we conceded a bad goal,” he added.
“Dungannon made it difficult for us. They battled away as they always do, but the main positive for me is we got three points.
“There have been times where we have played a lot better and come away with nothing.”
Dungannon boss Darren Murphy was left frustrated by his side’s slack start to the match.
“I said at the start of the week that we would come here and make it difficult and after 30 minutes I felt a fraud because it wasn’t the case,” he said.
“We could have been four or five down after half an hour.
“In the first 30 minutes we stood off them, Portadown were better and probably could have taken more of their chances.
“But I thought we played very well after that half-hour period.
“We gave a good account of ourselves and had opportunities. Their goalkeeper made some great saves.”