Sean Mackle has ranked tonight’s (Friday’s) winning goal against Linfield as one of his best moments in a Portadown shirt.
The Ports midfielder raced clear of the Linfield defence in the final minutes of the league match to convert Shea Conaty’s measured pass and seal a 2-1 success.
It provided a first league win at Windsor Park by Portadown since December 2002 - on a night Ronnie McFall’s men made the trip to Belfast without a recognised striker in the starting line-up.
“That goal is up there as one of my favourite moments as a Portadown player,” said a delighted Mackle. “It doesn’t get much better than a late winner at Windsor Park.
“I’ve been at the Ports for long enough now to remember times we’ve been unlucky and times we’ve been poor and I can hardly remember us getting a point at Windsor Park,” said Mackle. “It was a great team performance and credit must go to Shea Conaty for a brilliant pass to play me in.
“I had time to think about it and managed to put it away.
“I think David Miskelly’s penalty save was the major turning point of the game as a 2-0 gap would probably have been the end of it for us.
“I think Aaron Burns has probably put his last few down the middle and David would have known that but he still had a lot to do and he has been top-class all season.
“Chris Casement slotted in really well after time out with his injury and his set-piece quality led to the equaliser.
“We got it down well at times and, after needing a while to settle, had much better shape in the second half.
“Peter McMahon had a tough job to do as a makeshift striker but held the ball up well in the second half especially and gave them something to think about with his pace and movement.”
Portadown will be aiming for a repeat result on home soil next weekend when Linfield come to town for the Irish Cup quarter-final.
“Next week will be a different game but we can take real confidence from this league performance and result,” said Mackle. “With the strikers out and our recent results then most people had probably written us off before Windsor Park.
“It was a massive result for us in terms of Europe and we can push on and see how the rest of the season develops.
“Of course, a win in the cup would put us into the semi-finals so it is about using the league game as a tipping point.”