Portadown: Matthew Tipton keeping the faith

Portadown manager Matthew Tipton.
Portadown manager Matthew Tipton.

Portadown manager Matthew Tipton is hoping for positive momentum after releasing the shackles on his squad.

A decision to go on the front foot following disjointed form across the Bluefin Sport Championship has produced what Tipton considers enhanced performance levels in two games within four days.

A 2-2 draw with Limavady United last weekend marked the platform for a thrilling 3-2 defeat of Dundela on Tuesday that puts the Ports back in promotion play-off consideration.

Tipton replaced Niall Currie in the Shamrock Park dug-out and the latter will return to his hometown club this weekend with a Carrick Rangers side in encouraging form and a single point behind Portadown.

“We will obviously give Niall and Carrick respect but I have been left encouraged by our past two performances,” said Tipton, reflecting on a 2-2 draw with Limavady, despite a 2-0 lead, before battling back twice to seal a 3-2 victory that finished with Kevin Braniff and Adam McCallum both sent off. “Mistakes are still costing us but, in terms of how we’ve played overall, it looks like it is starting to click for the players.

“We are winning our individual battles and against Dundela it came down to that pure desire to get the win.

“Luke Wilson produced his best performance in my time at the club during the Dundela game and that came off the back of an excellent display alongside Gerard Storey against Limavady.

“Ryan Carmichael was excellent again, along with Kevin Braniff and Adam Salley up top.

“We now need to reshuffle due to red cards for Kevin and Adam midweek and it is frustrating given opportunities are in place but certain young players previously opted to leave the club in search of first-team football elsewhere.”

Kick-off at Shamrock Park will be 3 o’clock tomorrow (Saturday), with the BetMcLean League Cup quarter-final tie against Linfield on Tuesday at home set to start at 7.45.