Portadown stretched their unbeaten league run to eight games with this hard fought 2-1 victory over Ards on Saturday (7 Dec) at Shamrock Park.
Ports manager Matthew Tipton made two changes to his XI from that which drew with Dundela the week previous with Aaron Duke coming in for Chris Lavery and George Tipton replacing Liam McKenna.
Portadown, sporting an all purple kit due to a kit clash with Ards who arrived in all orange, had their first chance after five minutes when Adam Salley headed narrowly over from a Tipton free kick into the box and went close again on ten minutes when Paddy McNally’s header from a Tipton corner hit the crossbar before being cleared to safety.
Portadown were to have the ball in the net on 28 minutes through a Lee Bonis header but it was ruled out for offside however subsequent #WeArePortsTV highlights show that Bonis was well onside and the goal should have stood.
A minute later a delightful ball into the box from Adam Salley out wide on the left was met by the incoming Bonis however his shot on the stretch went the wrong side of the post by inches.
Kym Nelson was to have Ards best chance of the game so far when he connected with a cross from the left but his hooked side foot volley from just inside the box went just wide striking the left hand back stanchion.
Portadown were to be awarded a penalty on 32 minutes when Lee Bonis was adjudged to have been dragged down by Jaimie McGovern and up stepped Adam Salley to cooly slot home into the bottom left hand corner to score his 8th goal of the season.
Aaron Duke had a great chance to extend Portadowns lead on 39 minutes when he connected with a Salley cross into the box but his shot from a close range was straight at Ards keeper Neeson who saved.
Bluefin Sport Championship Half Time – Portadown 1 (Salley 33’ (pen)) Ards 0
Ards were to have the first chance of the second half when David McAllister stole the ball off George Tipton before making strides to the edge of the box and finding Eamon McAllister whose low shot across the face of the goal had to be palmed away by Edwards with the loose ball falling kindly in the 6 yard box for Paul Finnegan to clear.
Ports striker Duke tested Ards keeper Neeson with a free kick from around 30 yards on 55 minutes with the Ards shot stopper at full stretch to palm the ball away for a corner.
Ards had a great chance of an equaliser on 58 minutes when David McAllister beat Luke Wilson down the right and cut the ball back to the edge of the box for the incoming Kym Nelson however he shot over then 2 minutes later a teasing David McAllister low cross into the six yard box was met again by Kym Nelson however his shot was saved by the knee of Edwards with Paddy McNally deflecting the rebound away for a corner.
Portadown were to grab their second on 66 minutes when George Tipton picked up a Adam Salley cross at the edge of the box before beating his man and clipping the ball over the on rushing Ards keeper leaving Lee Bonis to tap the ball into an empty net from inside the six yard box.
Ards were to pull a goal back on 69 minutes when a low cross into the box from William Armstrong evaded a ruck of players with the exception of Kym Nelson who tucked the ball into the net from the edge of the six yard box.
Ports were to have an excellent chance to grab a third on 89 minutes when a deep cross from Ryan Carmichael to the back post was nodded down by Chris Lavery to the in coming Lee Bonis however his close range cushioned volley while under pressure from the defender was excellently saved by Neeson down low at his left hand post.
Another win for the Ports see’s them stay 6 points clear at the top of the Bluefin Sport Championship before this weekends clash with nearest challangers Ballinamallard United.
Bluefin Sport Championship Full Time – Portadown 2 (Salley 33’ (pen), Bonis 66’) Ards 1 (Nelson 69’)
Portadown: Edwards, Crane, Finnegan, Salley, Duke, McGrandles, Tipton, Wilson, McNally, Teggart, Bonis subs Lavery (replaced Tipton 87), McKenna (not used), Carmichael (replaced Duke 74), Ferris (not used), D. McCullough (not used)
Ards: Neeson, McMillan, Armstrong, McGovern, Taylor, Murray, McMillen, Nelson, D. McAllister, E. McAllister, Harris subs McLellan (replaced Harris 66), McIlwrath (not used), McConnell (not used), Calderwood (not used), Magee (not used)
Referee: Mark Dillon
Match Sponsor – Audio Advice
PSS Man of the Match Sponsor – Neil Grant who selected Conall McGrandles