Another tough loss to take but Portadown’s Matthew Tipton staying positive
For the second successive week, Portadown boss Matthew Tipton was left to reflect on falling short at the finish line despite offering stern Shamrock Park tests to full-time rivals with superior resources.
One week on from a 3-2 loss to Larne, Tipton’s young Ports players produced another display of pride and passion which offered little final reward beyond post-match praise against defending champions Linfield.
Portadown held the upper hand on two first-half occasions thanks to goals by Ruairi Croskery and Lee Bonis but Christy Manzinga’s double for the Blues arrived either side of a first goal in club colours from substitute Matt Green.
“The players went and did what I asked them to do and some weeks, if they do everything I ask them and it’s just not enough because the team is better, they have better quality and they score goals, there isn’t much I can do,” said Tipton. “There was plenty of positives, we looked good going forward, we knew we were going to have to defend crosses...everybody stuck to what I asked them to do.
“I’m not going to rip everything up because we didn’t win this game because I thought we gave enough.
“We were clearing off the line and we were blocking it, but there were stages when we created, we put them under pressure and they didn’t have everything their own way.
“There have been games when we’ve won that I have been unhappier than I am today and I’ve been more despondent after other defeats.”
“Lee Bonis showed to me that he is probably the best striker in the league at what he does.
“I am glad the transfer window is closed because I am sure there would be a bid coming in pretty quickly.
“He was our best defender in the first half heading it and obviously he is our threat going forward.
“I thought we caused them problems so I’ve just got to say ‘right lads, pick it up and just do the same next week.”
Portadown: Doherty, Hall, McCallum, Finnegan, Bonis, Conaty, Kerr, Croskery, Teggart, McLeod (Tipton, 68), Warde (Salley, 78).
Subs (not used): Barr, Anderson, Glenfield, Jordan, Murphy.
Linfield: Johns, Newberry, Shields, Callacher, Millar, Hume, Manzinga (Salam, 88), M.Clarke, Mulgrew, Chadwick (Green, 62), Palmer (Stewart, 62).
Subs (not used): Walsh, Roscoe-Byrne, Fallon, Donnelly.
REFEREE: Tony Clarke.
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