IRISH LEAGUE: Hughes boost for Portadown’s trip to Ballymena

Stephen Hughes. Pic by PressEye Ltd.
Stephen Hughes. Pic by PressEye Ltd.

Portadown manager Niall Currie is set to shuffle his players’ pack for the trip to tackle Ballymena United.

The top-flight’s bottom side hit the road tomorrow (Saturday) to take on a Ballymena squad having celebrated recent League Cup glory but also suffered Irish Cup heartache.

The Ports’ Irish Cup dreams also ended at the quarter-final stage last weekend and Currie is aiming to call on fresh faces for the Ballymena league test.

“It is not about punishing those players involved against Glenavon in the Irish Cup defeat as I do not doubt the commitment of those on the pitch, we just lacked the quality on the day to compete with a very strong side,” said Currie. “But we have always said our best chance at picking up points will come from having as many players as possible available for selection.

“Ross Larkin is suspended for the game, which is a blow given his recent progress.

“Garry Breen is also still unavailable due to back trouble, although both Jordan Lyttle and Ken Oman trained this week.

“We also have had Mark McAllister back training and Stephen Hughes.

“Keith O’Hara is also training but, in the past, has maybe been rushed back and ended up injured again so we want to be careful.

“Mark Carson is out with an ankle problem and Matt Hazley struggled with his hamstring but could be okay.

“Stephen was growing in influence before his injury so it will be a real bonus to have him back.

“We have to hold up our hands and say Glenavon were much better.”

Kick-off will be 3 o’clock.