Portadown’s Matthew Tipton on lack of ‘right choices’ behind two-goal lead loss

Portadown’s clash with Carrick Rangers proved an emotional roller-coaster from disruption to delight to distress to despair.

Tuesday, 16th November 2021, 1:00 pm

Flying high at half-time despite being forced into two late team changes before kick-off for a second successive week, hopes of a second win of the Premiership campaign fell apart over the second half.

With 70 minutes on the clock the lead created by goals from Michael Ruddy and Oisin Conaty stood firm - but two conceded in the closing 20 helped Carrick turn the tables and return home having rescued a point thanks to Lloyd Anderson and Jordan Gibson.

“I’m disappointed and frustrated - at 2-0 up we cannot afford to be throwing away two-goal leads in the position we are in,” said Portadown manager Matthew Tipton. “I thought in the second half we came out and didn’t do anything we had done in the first half.

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Portadown manager Matthew Tipton. Pic by Pacemaker.

“We didn’t move the ball wide, we didn’t turn them, we didn’t press at all.

“We sat too deep...we were trying to get them up the pitch but when we were getting them up we were not getting hold of the ball up front.

“That led to it coming back and back and, eventually, we are sitting on the edge of our box.

“The pitch was wide open, we had the whole half of the field to attack.

“All we had to do was slide it in but we kept trying to hit people’s feet with a centre-half up behind the player.

“And that’s decision-making...they didn’t do it like that in the first half.

“If Lee Bonis sticks that chance away early on in the second half - if I’m honest, our only bit of good play in the second half - then it’s game over (at 3-0).

“Then at the end it was a bombardment of balls coming into the box and we just didn’t deal well enough with it.

“It just seemed to me every decision we made was wrong in the second half.

“In the first half we were good and probably didn’t want it to end, then when we came out in the second half we just looked flat.

“I felt we were flat all over and probably thinking we will just be able to cling on here...but you have to still do the right things even if you are backs to the wall - and we didn’t make the right choices.

“We made the pitch small for ourselves in an attacking sense and then massive in a defensive sense.

“We had to make three changes within half an hour.

“We spoke during the week about how the bench would be important today but the fact is I had to put three on before we really got going.

“So it makes things even harder...but that’s the hand we’ve been dealt with so just have to suck it up.

“But it does make things difficult.

“In the first half I thought we played really well and it didn’t look like it was affecting us at all.

“Obviously as the game wears on and you’re looking around but we didn’t have much to change on the bench.”

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