The Ports promotion storm did not go to forecast on Friday night as Ballyclare breezed into town and went home with all three points.
It took the visitors a mere 20 seconds to find the back of the net when Thomas Robinson cut in from the right past Cranes and squared the ball across the box. Ryan Carmichael misjudged the run of the ball leaving Adam Gray to steady himself and fire home from 8 yards out.
Portadown reacted to the early setback and Teggart’s shot through a crowded penalty area was saved by McCauley low to his right post on 6 minutes. Four minutes later Murray spun on the angle of the six yard box but his shot went agonisingly wide of the far upright.
The home fans were stunned on 13 minutes when Ballyclare doubled their lead. The goal again came following good work by Robinson down the right. His surging run left Crane in his wake and he cut into the box and squared the ball from the by-line. Pierce in the Ports goal could only parry the ball to the feet of O’Neill and he slid the ball home from 7 yards.
Portadown were forced into a substitution on 25 minutes when George Tipton pulled up following a challenge on the halfway line and was replaced by Callum Ferris. Portadown continued to create chances and then minutes before the break Malone received a yellow card for bringing down Ferris as he threatened to break clear onto a ball over the defence. From the resulting free kick McNally headed just the wrong side of the post. Two minutes McCauley turned later a fierce curling drive from Teggart behind for a corner.
The home side continued to push forward and on 39 minutes Ferris found a gap between two defenders and broke clear one-on-one with the keeper, but fired his shot straight at McCauley. Following another corner to the Ports the ball ping-ponged around the box before Wilson shot just wide.
Robinson was again causing problems for Portadown in the first minute of the second half forcing Pierce into a good save as he raced off his line. The Reds created a number of half chances with Salley heading over the top from a Crane freekick and ten minutes later Salley floated a ball under the crossbar which the back peddling keeper managed to stop crossing the line.
On 65 minutes Teggart broke clear with just the keeper to beat but as he tried to round the keeper his goal bound effort was turned away for a corner. A murray shot then drifted wide before Ferris slipped his marker but McCauley again came to the rescue turning the ball behind for yet another Ports corner.
Try as they may the home side could not break down a stubborn Comrades defence and two later effort from Teggart narrowly failed to hit the target.
It was a disappointing night for the home side but they must lift themselves for the away trip to The Dub to take on PSNI this weekend.
Portadown: Pierce, Crane, Finnegan, Lavery, Salley, Murray, Tipton, Wilson, Carmichael, McNally, Teggart subs McAdams (not used), McCallum (not used), McGrandles (replaced Crane 73), Ferris (replaced Tipton 25), McVeigh (replaced Lavery 87)
Ballyclare Comrades: McCauley, Woods, McCune, McIlveen, McCart, Robinson, J. Dobbin, Donnelly, Gray, Malone, O’Neill subs Wilson (not used), Barr (replaced O’Neill 83), Mathieson (replaced Robinson 73), Hagan (replaced Donnelly 90+1), Cooper (not used)