Matthew Tipton refusing to drop demands in push towards full Portadown potential
Top-flight relegation concerns may be off the table for Portadown this season but manager Matthew Tipton is refusing to allow standards to fall short at Shamrock Park.
Defeat on Saturday to Ballymena United by 2-1 despite breaking the deadlock left the Ports boss full of frustration at what he considered a missed opportunity.
Ballymena entered the fixture with frailties from five successive Danske Bank Premiership defeats and an injury list which forced manager David Jeffrey into placing two full-backs at the heart of his backline.
Problems increased when Sam Warde found the net for the hosts in style around the half-hour mark with a measured volley to cap clever approach play by Ben Tilney and a cushioned knockback from Lee Bonis in the box.
However, Shay McCartan’s low angled drive beyond Jacob Carney before the break and a late close-range finish by former Portadown player Ross Redman helped to turn the tables for Ballymena.
“I thought Ballymena played better than us today but I’m frustrated as I felt the game was there for the taking and we didn’t capitalise against a team having lost five in a row,” said Tipton. “We didn’t do the basics well - we didn’t track runners, we didn’t win enough headers, we didn’t have tight enough lines, we didn’t stop shots, we didn’t stop crosses.
“We could have been three down before we went 1-0 up, then never pushed on to punish Ballymena.
“I thought it was a good goal as we moved the ball around to move Ballymena about in a tight area then to put the ball in.
“I used the word naivety over and over again as they know what to do and have done it previously but today we made it easy too often for Ballymena.
“We’ve lost previously and been better than today, so it’s frustrating as we are better than that performance.
“It came down to decision-making today, we didn’t react in the right way to so many different occasions.
“We allowed Ballymena to gain confidence within the game by settling into it, getting shots away and playing how they wanted.
“There were good spells from us but it was just frustrating overall.
“We lacked the right composure at times and rushed certain moments.”
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