McFall keen for double league lift off cup win

Gary Twigg (left) put Portadown into a 2-1 lead from the penalty spot on Saturday.
Gary Twigg (left) put Portadown into a 2-1 lead from the penalty spot on Saturday.
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Portadown manager Ronnie McFall is calling for his players to turn the momentum of Saturday’s crucial Irish Cup success into an upturn in league form.

A run of six successive defeats has left the Ports struggling in the league standings.

However, victory over Coleraine last weekend provided a welcome positive and now McFall is determined to transfer that knockout boost towards league points.

“We have Linfield and Ballinamallard in a short space of time so the idea is to carry forward the confidence gained from our cup win,” said the Ports boss. “Momentum can make all the difference so if we get the right result against Linfield then facing Ballinamallard so soon after, with games on Friday and Monday, can turn out in our favour.

“Of course, the other side of two fixtures inside four days is the lack of recovery time for the players, not to mention the fact that away to Ballinamallard on a Monday night is a long journey.”

The risk of additional injury concerns remains a threat - with Gary Twigg and David Miskelly the latest senior players to suffer.

Twigg slotted home a penalty kick in the cup tie but cut short his celebrations to send out a signal to the sidelines. Miskelly required on-field treatment in the closing moments of the 3-1 win.

“Gary has a thigh issue and the conditions made it difficult for everyone but his injury flared up after taking the penalty kick,” said McFall. “David’s issue was cramp it seems more than anything.

“We will take a look at everyone during training this week but Gary appears doubtful.”

One positive was the appearance on the Portadown scoresheet for the first time by Philip Lowry. The January signing capped his third match in club colours with the third goal against Coleraine.

“Philip has that ability to find the right positions,” said McFall. “The goals will come as his match sharpness improves but it was certainly a special strike against Coleraine to help us progress.”

Kick-off tonight (Friday) will be 7.45 at Shamrock Park against Linfield.

Monday’s visit to Ballinamallard United is set for kick-off at 8 o’clock.