Cliftonville triumphant over Portadown as battle for third heats up

Referee Tm Marshall sends off Portadown's Gary Twigg for a foul on Cliftonville's  George McMullan
Referee Tm Marshall sends off Portadown's Gary Twigg for a foul on Cliftonville's George McMullan

PORTADOWN 0 CLIFTONVILLE 2

Both managers concede that third spot and European qualification remains the main priority after this rough, tough battle at Shamrock Park – with just one point separating Portadown and Cliftonville.

There was a quiet relief from Cliftonville’s Tommy Breslin as the north Belfast side registered their first league win since December 8, thanks to goals from George McMillan and Joe Gormley.

But Ronnie McFall’s reaction was of unconcealed anger after striker Gary Twigg was sent off when McFall felt Cliftonville’s players were treated more leniently after committing what he felt were similar fouls.

McMullan flashed that penalty home after 20 minutes when the ref adjudged Keith O’Hara to have floored James Knowles.

And Gormley made it safe 15 minutes from time when he rounded off great work by Jude Winchester.

PORTADOWN: Miskelly, Redman O’Hara, Ramsey, McMahon (Begley 84), Mackle, McAllister (Conaty 31), Mouncey, Richardson, Twigg, Gault.

Subs not used: Brennan, Strewart.

CLIFTONVILLE: Cherrie, Scannell, Bayly (Winchester 57m, McMullan, M. Donnelly (J. Donnelly 86), Knowles, Smyth, Catney, Gormley, Murray (McMurray 84), Bonner.

Subs not used – McGovern, Cosgrove.

REFEREE: Tim Marshall (irvinestown).