Dungannon Swifts boss Rodney McAree is hoping Peter McMahon’s first goal for the club can unlock the player he so feared when both shared the field as opponents.
McMahon’s goal divided the derby rivals at Shamrock Park as he reacted first to control and convert a rebound after an initial header bounced off the post.
The playmaker found the net in the first half to secure full points for the Swifts against former club Portadown - and McAree is keen to see the talent continue to flourish.
“Any time I went up against Peter as a player he scared the life out of me,” said the former midfield ace turned Swifts boss. “Peter has done well for us since he came into the club and hopefully today will kick-start something.
“Technically he’s brilliant and is hopefully now over his groin and hip problems.
“He did well against Portadown playing wide and up front and he’s just a wonderful footballer who we hope to see continue to provide until the end of the season.”
McMahon’s finish proved a rare talking point on an afternoon of limited scoring opportunities - with defeat edging Portadown one step closer to relegation and victory handing the Swifts a boost before this weekend’s Irish Cup semi-final against Linfield.
“No-one will be buying a DVD of that game but it was a win and very important clean sheet,” said McAree. “We’ve not had a clean sheet in a while or a win in a while.
“It was good to get back to winning ways and it may not have been pretty but I felt without the ball we did quite well, in terms of restricting Portadown to probably two shots from outside the area.
“If every week was like that then I would be very happy, with the whole back four doing well.
“David Armstrong did well, Andy Coleman showed belief in coming for a ball into the box late on and Ally Teggart was tremendous after slotting in at left-back.
“Ally made it look like a stroll in the park but he is a very gifted footballer.
“I’ve a couple of positions where I need to make a decision on what I need to do for the semi-final.”
Portadown boss Niall Currie was also looking down the line but with his focus on the future following a season destined to go down as one of the most troubled in club history given off-the-field disciplinary issues and on-the-field results that have left the club rooted to the bottom of the Danske Bank Premiership for much of the campaign.
“I thought if we had anything about us we could have been able to get something from it given Dungannon’s focus on the semi-final,” said Currie. “We asked for that bit of desire and enthusiasm but sometimes you are flogging a dead horse.
“We had two 17-year-olds, a 16-year-old and 15-year-old get minutes, with Scott Megaw excellent at left-back on his first senior league start.
“I’m sick of talking about the guys who are not available and a lot here seem to be seeing out the season with arrangements made for next season.
“We want to get players who are proud to play for this club.”
PORTADOWN: McGaughey, Shannon, Megaw, R.Larkin, Breen, Garrett, Henderson, Hazley (Holmes, 56), Foley (C.Ferris, 56), Mackle, Soares.
Subs (not used): C.Larkin, Lyttle, Richardson.
DUNGANNON SWIFTS: Coleman, Brennan, Wilson, Armstrong, Glackin, Teggart, Burns, Lowe, Clucas, Lavery (Lockhart, 60), McMahon (Mitchell, 76).
Subs (not used): Addis, Fitzpatrick, Burke.