Portadown moving on with transfers as boss confirms Board talks over Lee Bonis

Portadown manager Matthew Tipton has not let negotiations over Lee Bonis’ future slow down his plans to strengthen the squad.

Saturday, 8th January 2022, 10:05 pm
Updated Saturday, 8th January 2022, 10:11 pm

Bonis was left out of the Ports’ matchday group for Irish Cup success over Limavady United at the end of a week dominated by talk over a potential six-figure transfer fee windfall for the Shamrock Park outfit.

With Glentoran the early front-runners for Bonis’ capture then Larne considered in the driving seat ahead of kick-off, a player off the pitch grabbed much of the spotlight as second-half goals from Adam Salley and Chris Lavery eventually helped the Ports see off a spirited Limavady side.

Given the fluid world of the transfer window, Tipton would only reflect on the game just gone then speculate on the future of his celebrated striker moments after the final whistle confirmed a win with a February trip to Coleraine the reward.

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Portadown manager Matthew Tipton. Pic by Pacemaker.

Although unable to offer any definitive state of play ahead of continued talks with his Board of Directors, Tipton was clear on his stance over additional signings on top of Howard Beverland, Jamal Dupree and Jack Smith.

“Lee was suspended last Saturday then isolating and came out of that on Thursday, so I looked at him and didn’t think he was ready to play,” said Tipton by way of explanation over Bonis’ absence from the Irish Cup panel.

Tipton’s post-match interview continued: “I have to speak to the Board this evening and we will take it from there.

“But we’ve signed three players this week, plus Joe Gorman should be announced today, with another deal agreed but not yet fully signed off and I’m working on a striker as well.

“Whatever happens elsewhere I’ll still be bringing bodies in.

“We need it....we’ve got to do better than today and certainly over the first half of the season.

“Jamal (Dupree) came on and I thought he looked lively, he’s direct and he gave us something a little bit different.

“I don’t know if there’s much of that pace around the league.

“Howard (Beverland) did well in his first game and although I thought we were a little bit slack that was down to the middle of the pitch not the centre-backs.

“He did what he had to do - he won his headers, got us up the pitch at times and I was fairly pleased with him.”

Tipton’s bid for ways to enhance a squad stuck in the Premiership relegation zone was only cemented by a performance against Premier Intermediate League visitors Limavady which proved a day in which the end result took precedent over the performance.

“We looked for the majority of the game a team that was lacking confidence,” said Tipton. “But we won 2-0, kept a clean sheet and got into the next round, so that’s the main thing for today.

“But we could have done a ton of things better then once we scored we looked a better team, which comes from confidence.

“It took Michael Ruddy going into the middle for us to get more organisation.”

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