CHAMPIONSHIP: Two players and manager sent off as Portadown defeat Newry City

Portadown manager Matthew Tipton. Pic by Pacemaker.
Portadown manager Matthew Tipton. Pic by Pacemaker.

Two goals in three first-half minutes secured a second successive Bluefin Sport Championship win for Matthew Tipton’s Portadown - and left title-chasing Newry City AFC suffering a first league defeat of 2018.

A John Boyle own goal and Jamie Douglas finish handed Portadown control by 23 minutes in the 2-1 win.

However, the main talking points centred on angry exchanges heading into half-time which resulted in a red card apiece and the dismissal of Portadown boss Matthew Tipton.

Newry’s Mark Hughes and Craig McMillen of Portadown were each issued red by referee Neil Robinson in the aftermath of an incident around the Shamrock Park tunnel area that featured multiple personnel from both clubs.

It proved an ugly and unnecessary end to an entertaining first half in which the two teams proved committed to attacking football.

On-song Newry started to gain a stranglehold of possession when Portadown took the lead on 20 minutes.

Slick footwork wide on the left by Chris Lavery took the winger past Darren King and the drilled cross was deflected into his own net by the unfortunate Boyle.

It was 2-0 within minutes as a rejuvenated Portadown under Tipton extended the unbeaten run since his arrival from Warrenpoint Town to three games.

A clever set-piece delivery by Kyle Neill was slotted home as Douglas peeled off inside the packed penalty area into space.

Newry substitute Robert Mackin set up a frantic finale with a decisive back-post drive on 80 minutes.

PORTADOWN: McGaughey, Neill, Hall, McCallum, Larkin, Kilmartin, C.Lavery, Wilson, Salley (Carmichael, 77), Douglas (Brennan, 68), McMillen.

Subs (not used): McKenna, George, Hutchinson.

NEWRY CITY AFC: Maguire, Noonan, Hughes, King, Boyle, McCann, McArdle, Carville, McCabe, Havern (Walker, 54), Johnston (Mackin, 54).

Subs (not used): Mullen, McMahon, McCaul.

Referee: Neil Robinson.