Watching his side share the spotlight in a seven-goal thriller failed to provide Portadown manager Ronnie McFall with any New Year cheer on Friday.
A third successive defeat extended the miserable run of form for McFall’s men out of 2015 and into 2016 as Ballymena United left Shamrock Park with three points courtesy of the 4-3 success.
The Ports held control on two occasions with leads of 2-1 and 3-2 but finished frustrated at the final whistle.
“Both teams deserve a lot of credit for playing in such difficult conditions due to the rain,” said the Ports boss. “I thought over the 90 minutes we were the better side.
“We scored three goals and could have finished with four or five.
“However, our defending was questionable to say the least and you cannot score three goals at home but still finish with nothing.”
Injuries and suspensions left Portadown with a depleted panel and McFall had to hand striker Marcio Soares and left-back Matthew Parker starting spots on the flanks.
The teenagers were joined by another promising young player, Pauddy Judge, off the substitutes’ bench - with Soares on the scoresheet alongside Garry Breen and Sean Mackle.
“Marcio did well, scored a good goal but then had to come off with cramp,” said McFall. “Matthew worked hard along the left and holds his position well.
“The number of goals conceded in recent games is an issue and we certainly looked a lot more solid previously with Chris Ramsey at right-back and Chris Casement pushed up along the right, or even Keith O’Hara at right-back.
“Ken Oman was getting married today but is back for the next match.”