If the push to protect Portadown’s top-flight status ultimately proves successful it will have arrived as a result of a painful learning process.
Saturday marked the perfect case-in-point as Portadown held the upper hand for 40 minutes - then collapsed off the back of defensive errors in quick succession.
The limp second-half performance failed to offer any signs of a way back into contention against a Warrenpoint Town side who could have increased the margin of victory beyond 3-1.
Stephen Murray, the former St Mary’s striker, finished with a brace of goals after Conor McDonald kicked off the visitors’ comeback with a deflected shot.
However, the majority of the opening half offered significant signs of encouragement.
Ross Redman, Gary Twigg and Philip Lowry added weight to the starting line-up - with all three involved in the strong opening spell, alongside Robert Garrett, Chris Casement, Marcio Soares and Mikey Withers.
One Redman cross was pushed out by goalkeeper Jonathan Parr and John Boyle hacked clear the loose ball before Soares could convert.
The teenage striker enjoyed success, however, on 14 minutes with a close-range finish after Chris Ramsey’s pass following a Redman delivery and Twigg flick.
A belief within the coaching team that hard work on the training pitch can provide the answers to Portadown’s problems is serving up slow returns and the concern after another defeat must be if time will run out before significant rewards.
PORTADOWN: David Miskelly, Chris Ramsey, Ross Redman, Garry Breen, Ken Oman, Robert Garrett, Philip Lowry, Chris Casement, Gary Twigg, Marcio Soares, Mikey Withers. Subs: Martin Marron, Matthew Parker, Tim Mouncey (on for Soares, 59 mins), Nathaniel Ferris (on for Withers, 77 mins), Pauddy Judge.
Referee: John Deighan.