If this is Gary Twigg before he reaches full match fitness – and with a midfield that set up so few chances – then the Danske Bank Premiership had better look out when he’s really firing on all cylinders.
The Ports’ debutante scored a marvellous winner against a game Donegal Celtic, even though it was a fleeting half-chance, giving his new club three precious points in their quest to achieve a coveted top six spot.
The 1-0 victory helped the Ports move to within three points of the top-six and it is hoped Twigg’s arrival will be the catalyst to their surge up the table.
“I’m delighted to have scored on my first outing for Portadown,” said the ex-Shamrock Rovers man.
“It’ll take about four or five matches for me to be fully match fit.
“I’ve trained hard over the past month, but I haven’t had a competitive match since the FAI season finished in October and it’ll take time to find the pace.
“I found it tough in the last 20 minutes, but that goal means a lot and it was beautifully set up by Chris (Casement). It’s a very satisfactory start.”
The goal came five minutes into the second period after a boring first-half that lacked action, ideas and excitement. Casement played a slick one-two up the right, whipped the ball towards the near post, and Twigg was on it like the predator he is, arching home a brilliant header.
“It’s what we brought him here for,” said a delighted manager Ronnie McFall.
“That goal had class written all over it, and with our closest top six competitors (Ballinamallard and Coleraine) both losing, it meant three valuable points.
“Our midfield had few constructive ideas, but in fairness the pitch was heavy and uneven and it’s hard to play football on it. A lot of work will be needed in the close season to put it right.
“DC always give us a tough game at Shamrock Park – there’s rarely more than a single goal in it.”