Portadown manager Pat McGibbon has praised the spirit and skill on show from his players in Wednesday’s vital 2-1 victory over Ballinamallard United.
A decision by the Irish Football Association disciplinary committee has left the Ports facing a 12-point deduction for the Danske Bank Premiership campaign.
A pending IFA appeals board hearing over a potential “suspension of football activities” due to “non-payment of fines” prevented McGibbon’s men from kicking off the season last weekend with the rest of the senior clubs.
However, a 2-1 win provided the Ports with the perfect start to the season and a platform on which to build for the rest of the campaign.
“We are very pleased with the win and a great start given the 12-point deficit,” said McGibbon. “There is a great team spirit and the lads moved the ball into the right areas and made some really good runs.
“Everyone is buzzing after that result and the response to the training under myself, Vinny Arkins and Trevor Williamson has been really positive all summer.
“We have more willing runners and managed to move the ball down the flanks, with the players building on the pre-season progress.
“It was encouraging to see us take the lead then respond in a positive way to Ballinamallard’s equaliser.
“Now we turn the attention to Ards and want to continue on the good points of the first win.”