McFall’s New Year clean slate for Ports players

Ronnie McFall. Pic by PressEye Ltd.
Ronnie McFall. Pic by PressEye Ltd.

Ronnie McFall is keen to kick off 2016 with a clean slate in preparation for a final push across the league and cup fronts.

The Portadown manager will welcome Ballymena United to Shamrock Park today (Friday) for the first fixture of the second half of the season.

The Ports enter the New Year having suffered back-to-back derby defeats to Dungannon Swifts and Glenavon during December.

However, McFall can gain confidence from a three-match run of wins on home soil - plus the performance put in on Boxing Day in Lurgan.

“It was disappointing to lose the Glenavon match in the last few moments but there is no question that we had the two best chances,” said McFall. “I felt there was also a blatant penalty turned down and Michael Gault’s red card was harsh.

“I think he slipped in the conditions for the second booking and not every foul deserves to get a yellow card.

“Tim Mouncey’s red card as a substitute was frustrating but that is football and we just have to deal with the situation now.

“Even with 10 men we were outstanding.”

Portadown go into the match sitting seventh in the Dankse Bank Premiership standings with a five-point lead over Ballymena.

“There are no easy games and there is not a lot between the teams in the league so now we want to push on,” said McFall, who is expected to end his 29-year association as Portadown manager at the end of the season. “Our priority is a finish inside the top six and to win the Irish Cup.

“I am just putting my focus on one game at a time and do not get involved in any other talk.”

Gary Twigg limped off against Glenavon inside the opening half-hour period.

“Gary first felt the thigh problem at Dungannon Swifts,” said McFall. “His injury is one we have to manage with each game.”

Kick-off today (Friday) will be 3 o’clock.