One goal for Portadown but Matthew Tipton making progress off multiple options

Portadown manager Matthew Tipton. Pic by Tony Hendron.
Portadown manager Matthew Tipton. Pic by Tony Hendron.
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Portadown may have one goal this season but manager Matthew Tipton draws encouragement from the multiple paths to victory his players can provide.

The Ports claimed the derby spoils on Saturday with a 2-1 win over Loughgall at Shamrock Park.

Victory arrived off the back of successive away-day wins against Newry City AFC and Ballyclare Comrades to help cement a five-point lead at the head of the Bluefin Sport Championship standings in pursuit of promotion.

Substitutes Aaron Duke, Chris Lavery and Ryan Carmichael each joined play to inject fresh spark into Portadown’s performance against Loughgall and Tipton has highlighted the ability of his squad to pick up points from difficult circumstances.

“As a manager I want us to be playing great football and sitting on top but I must also praise the players for finding ways on a regular basis to dig in and get a result even when not producing the standard of performance we work towards.

“The character is a major boost this season but also the flexibility that allows us to tackle different challenges in different ways.

“This weekend we visit Dundela, a small pitch that makes it hard to play expansive football using a lot of width.

“However, it is up to us to discover a solution that allows us to continue to pick up the points we want and extend this strong run.

“Dundela certainly have quality but our away record this season has been similar to our return of points from home games, so that tells us something about the mentality of the players.

“Having Chris and Ryan back gives us the future option for genuine width and that opens up the number of systems available to us.

“Ultimately, it comes down to the players adapting and responding to events on the pitch, so credit for such consistency and character.”