‘Complete’ Portadown display the goal after positives from back-to-back draws

Back-to-back league draws may not mark an obvious reference point for a manager in search of success.

Saturday, 20th November 2021, 2:12 am

But Portadown boss Matthew Tipton will send his players out against Dungannon Swifts this weekend calling for a combination of the positives from those recent performances against Linfield and Carrick Rangers.

Both home fixtures finished in a share of the spoils - the first off a show of resolve in the face of sustained pressure against defending champions Linfield but the second only after the surrender of a two-goal cushion over Carrick.

And Tipton feels each fixture can offer signs of strength as the Ports hit the road in hope of a second win of the Premiership season and three points to increase the gap outside of a relegation zone occupied at present by the Swifts and basement side Warrenpoint Town.

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Portadown manager Matthew Tipton. Pic by PressEye Ltd.

“If you take the defensive display overall against Linfield, it was one of our best this season,” said Tipton. “Then you look at the attacking play in the first half of the Carrick match and the early part of the second and, again, that stands as one of our best going forward.

“So the challenge is to knit everything together, all the plus-points from those past two league games.

“That’s the goal and what we will be asking from the players this weekend...and moving forward.”

The Ports managed to protect a clean sheet in the Linfield match for a first league blank of the current campaign despite having to face no fewer than 20 corner-kicks alongside the other set-piece and open play threats.

Early sights of goal against Carrick arrived for Chris Lavery and George Tipton, with Lee Bonis offered an opening after the interval for the chance to extend the lead.

“We’ve been able to produce passages at times this season going forward, even when I think back to games against Glentoran and Linfield,” said Tipton. “In the Carrick match you could see the cohesion in our early play and that level of inter-changing between the players.

“I think we’ve been producing better football at times this season than even compared to games last season we ended up winning.

“I’ve been really pleased with our movement and passing at times, with periods in the Carrick game as good as anything.

“Then you see the players put everything into that clean sheet against Linfield...but not hold on to the lead against Carrick.

“So we need both aspects of the game coming together into one complete display.”

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