Portadown must serve up a second successive Shamrock Park survival act tonight (Friday) or lose the season-long battle to beat the drop.
The Ports trail Carrick Rangers by 11 points ahead of Ballinamallard United’s visit - the final home fixture of the season to forget and one of four closing chances to complete a miracle comeback.
Last weekend’s dramatic 2-1 defeat of Rangers managed to extend senior status for Portadown. Now manager Niall Currie is calling on his players to reward the home supporters with a performance that can match the passion provided from the stands.
“The fans certainly deserve a display that can build on last weekend, especially for the final home game given such loyal backing this season,” said Currie. “People are aware of the situation we face and the reality of what could happen but our goal must be to end the season in the right way for the club and fans.
“If we can continue to produce the standard of energy and commitment on show against Carrick then I have real faith we can pick up wins.”
Ballinamallard manager Gavin Dykes is expecting a tough test.
“It is a shame to see a massive club like Portadown in this situation,” said Dykes. “But we can only focus on our job and must do everything possible until mathematically safe.
“Beating Glentoran last week was a massive result for us after losing five on the spin.
“We have big plans for the summer but cannot start that work until safe this season.”