Former Ipswich ace signs on with Ports

Ronnie McFall.
Ronnie McFall.

Portadown have swooped to sign former Ipswich Town defender Shane O’Connor in a bid to solve their left-back crisis.

O’Connor, who was attached to Shamrock Rovers, signed on the dotted line at Shamrock Park on Tuesday night.

The 23-year-old is likely to come straight into the side for tomorrow’s Irish Premier League game against Dungannon Swifts at Stangmore Park if he receives clearance.

O’Connor is a former Liverpool Academy graduate and has represented the Republic at under-17, under-19 and under-21. He can play at left-back or as a winger.

Manager Ronnie McFall said, “With Redman (Ross) and (Keith) O’Hara injured we needed to get someone in.

“O’Connor has been at Ipswich and is a Republic of Ireland under-21 international.”

The Ports travel to Dungannon badly in need of three points.

The shock 4-2 home defeat by Glenavon was followed by an unexpected 3-1 loss at bottom of the table Ards last Saturday.

The Ports have taken just one point from a possible nine, the slump in form coming after the highs of the record breaking 11-0 win over Ballinamallard, a battling draw with Crusaders and win over Glentoran.

McFall said it was difficult to understand why the slump had taken place.

He said, “It’s hard to put your finger on. The last two results have been very disappointing, especially given the good run that we’d been enjoying. Perhaps we haven’t been working as hard as we should have.”

McFall refused to blame Ards’ artificial pitch for the loss, but did say it had been a factor.

“It didn’t help. I wouldn’t use it as an excuse, but the pitch didn’t help,” he said.

McFall has been quick to stress that Portadown are not in a bad position. Last weekend threw up some surprising results with Glenavon losing at home to Ballinamallard while Linfield and Crusaders drew.

“We haven’t played as well as we can over the last couple of matches,” he said. “We have given away some bad goals and not taken our chances. But if you look at the league table we’re certainly not in a bad position. A win at Dungannon would put us back on track.”