Execution the issue as Matthew Tipton rues Portadown’s missed opportunity

Having suffered from a first-half failure to effectively execute the attacking ambition, Portadown slumped across the second half on Saturday as Warrenpoint Town regrouped and responded with two late goals.

By Patrick Van Dort
Monday, 1st February 2021, 5:00 pm

The 2-0 home defeat left Ports boss Matthew Tipton frustrated at both the missed opportunity and ultimate cost.

“I thought in the first half we were good and just continued on from the performance midweek against Crusaders,” said Tipton. “At half-time the message was to keep on doing what we were doing but with extra urgency and to be a bit more clinical in front of goal.

“But we decided not to play in their half at all...and it comes from the kick-off.

Frustration on Saturday for Sam Warde and his Portadown team-mates against Warrenpoint Town. Pic by Pacemaker.

“We were slow on the kick-off, we got blocked, they got a corner-kick and Warrenpoint’s heads went up.

“In football, so much is about momentum and we didn’t capitalise when we had the upper hand then they did.

“It was a decent first goal from Warrenpoint but we’ve got to deal with it better.

“You can’t appeal to the referee or stand and hope the ball has gone out of play...instead we had two men out of position.

“For the second goal, we didn’t reorganise when Paul Finnegan’s had to go off for treatment.

“There was space all over the pitch and we didn’t identify it enough, it was always there.

“It’s not as if we were going up against trying to break down eight or nine men packed behind the ball.

“We’ve Lee Bonis, Ben Tilney, Stephen Teggart, Ben Guy...athletes to go forward.

“But in the second half it was as if we were trying to be too precise, against the wind but trying to thread balls along the floor too easily intercepted.

“It just needed to go over the heads of the Warrenpoint players as there was space in behind.

“That’s why I get frustrated...we are not asking the players to do things that difficult,”

Tipton turned to his substitutes’ bench in search of solutions but the forward-thinking adjustments could not reclaim the momentum.

“In the first half we were pressing, winning second balls and full of energy,” said Tipton. “In the second, we were not lacking energy but it seemed a combination of bad luck and bad decision-making.

“We brought on Chris Lavery and felt we had an attacking left-back to go out and attack the space...then never really played the ball out to the left.

“We also brought on Adam Salley and Stephen Murray to go 4-3-3 and have two other strikers on alongside Lee Bonis.

“We wanted to get the ball forward to hit the three strikers but then we started to play short balls and not turn Warrenpoint.

“With Salley, Murray and Bonis I don’t know many quicker or stronger players as a front three in the league but we didn’t give them the opportunity.”


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