PORTADOWN 2 LINFIELD 0
Linfield’s miserable November drew to a close with a fourth successive Danske Bank Premiership defeat.
Chris Casement’s 49th-minute goal and a late second from substitute Marcio Soares saw Portadown seal a 2-0 win at Shamrock Park.
It is the first time since March 1997 that Linfield have lost four league games on the bounce, and leaves David Healy’s side labouring 12 points off the top of the table.
An attritional showdown – played in atrocious conditions – was settled by two second half goals.
Casement fired home four minutes after the break and Soares – an 86th-minute replacement for Darren Murray – completed the spirited victory for the Ports with a simple finish in the dying seconds of the game.
There was little in the form of entertainment during a turgid opening half at Shamrock.
Linfield winger Paul Smyth fired a shot well over the bar in the 10th minute, while at the other end Gary Twigg just failed to get on the end of Sean Mackle’s low cross.
Darren Murray headed over from eight yards in the 32nd minute from a teasing cross from Robert Garrett, and Smyth had another shot easily gathered by Ports goalkeeper David Miskelly as the half petered to a close.
With the game crying out for a goal, Casement duly delivered in the 49th minute.
Ross Redman – who seconds earlier had cleared an Andy Waterworth shot off his own line – surged down the left before crossing into the middle where Casement sent a first-time shot low into the bottom corner.
Linfield sought a quick riposte and Jimmy Callacher had a shot blocked by Michael Gault in the 58th minute.
Kirk Millar forced Miskelly into a save in the 67th minute as the conditions deteriorated.
Casement almost bagged his second goal of the day in the 82nd minute but he just failed to get on the end of Gary Twigg’s low cross.
At the other end Waterworth was denied by Miskelly and Ken Oman, while Mark Stafford had a shot from an acute angle well saved by the Ports ‘keeper.
The game was settled in the final minute with substitute Soares on target, the striker tapping home Twigg’s low cross.
PORTADOWN: Miskelly, Casement, O’Hara, Redman, Ramsey, Mackle, Murray (Soares 86), Twigg, Gault, Garrett, Oman.
Subs not used: Brennan, Breen, Mouncey, Parker.
LINFIELD: Ro. Glendinning, Stafford, Callacher, Waterworth, Bates (Sproule 69), Millar (Quinn 69), Clarke, Kee, Mulgrew (Murray 86), Re. Glendinning, Smyth.
Subs not used: Deane, Ward.
Referee: Ian McNabb (Carrickfergus)