COMMENT: Portadown’s season is all about the destination not the journey under a shadow of past highs and lows
The shadow of Portadown’s senior history - both past pain and pleasure - hangs heavy on the current push for promotion.
Saturday’s Shamrock Park derby date attracted around 700 fans and home songs of support and celebration served as reference to former top-flight rivals like Linfield, Glentoran and Crusaders.
A recent appeal by the Board of Directors highlighted the need for similar backing across the turnstiles on a regular basis to help alleviate the strain of top-flight running costs on a second-tier budget.
Matthew Tipton played for Portadown on that main stage and is now charged with the responsibility as manager of steering a safe path back to the promised land.
For the majority of Saturday’s 2-1 win over Loughgall the pressure associated with that return was played out to the backdrop of groans of frustration from the stands at a Ports performance which showed few signs of any end product.
That pressure is naturally reflected at times on the pitch in performance levels.
Only a few miles separate Portadown and Loughgall on the map but the significant gulf off the field in terms of resources and reputation allows one club to step out each matchday with the weight of expectation and the other to enjoy the freedom that comes in the absence of such a burden,
Ultimately, Portadown found a way to finish with three more precious points - it may not have been pretty but the statistics show another win for the league leaders.
Ultimately, Portadown must find a way to finish with promotion - it may not be pretty but if the statistics show that in the record books at the close of the campaign then the manner of reaching that point can be consigned to memory.
For the Ports, now in a third consecutive season without a seat at the top table, the destination outweighs the journey.
Every point won, irrespective of the ease or agony towards banking that reward, marks another gain towards glory.