Portadown penalty hero Gary Twigg described Saturday’s 1-0 win over a spirited Carrick side as a “big relief all round”.
The Glaswegian striker hammered home a 94th-minute spot-kick to bag his team’s first league success since August 22 .
“Darren Murray, who is our penalty taker, was already off at the time and, as a centre-forward, I think people expected me to hit it,” Twigg said.
“I grabbed the ball and thankfully it went in the back of the net. I just thought ‘hit it as hard as you can’. It was the last minute of the game and I didn’t want to be trying anything too fancy so I just put my foot through the ball.
“It was a big relief all round. We knew we needed to get the three points and to be fair it was a really difficult game. They put it right up to us but we’re delighted to get the win.”
It put to an end an agonising 450 minutes of football without a victory, and perhaps silenced a minority in the travelling support who displayed a banner emblazoned with the words ‘Ronnie Out’.
Experienced Ports boss Ronnie McFall’s response was unequivocal: “Wait till I tell you, that’s old news. They had that banner out two years ago. It doesn’t cost me a thought. It’s water off a duck’s back.”
Carrick boss Gary Haveron was ruing another last-minute sucker punch.
“It’s cruel on us, but that’s the nature of football,” he said.
“You’ve got to play to the final whistle. I’m bitterly disappointed because we didn’t deserve that. At the end we were pushing on and I thought we looked more likely to win – but it’s silly defending.”