A late goal from Ross Redman gave Ballymena United all three points at Shamrock Park in what was their first win in five games.
The visitors had a decent opportunity in the opening minutes. Midfielder Jude Winchester proved a regular threat throughout, hitting an effort from 20 yards in which was denied through a diving Jacob Carney save.
At the other end, Adam Salley headed on a Ben Tilney free kick which failed to trouble Ross Glendinning in the Ballymena United goal.
The visitors had another opportunity when a powerful Andy McGrory cross found the head of Ryan Waide who couldn’t get enough on the effort to trouble the goal.
Carney had to be alert when a Jude Winchester cross deflected off the body of Ports defender Eamon Scannell forcing the Englishman to dive to his left to put the ball out for a corner.
The Ports had the opening goal on 28 minutes and it was the first for January signing Sam Warde in a red shirt who volleyed the ball over the United keeper after being squared the ball by Lee Bonis.
The visitors were on level terms in the run up to half time. Danger man Shay McCartan found space down the right side before hitting a low effort into the bottom corner at the edge of the box for his sixth goal of the league campaign.
Soon after they had a great opportunity to go in front, when a deep cross landed at the head of former Glenavon man McGrory at far post with Carney gathering the effort.
McCartan almost had his second when he went on a bombing run beating 2 defenders before being denied and by Carney in the Ports goal.
Half time score:
Portadown 1 (Warde 28’)
Ballymena United 1 (McCartan 41’)
Portadown started the second half on the ascendancy, and had an opportunity when Adam Salley intercepted the Ballymena defence, before his bobbled effort was easily picked up by the keeper.
Salley soon after had a similar opportunity. When he dispossessed United defender Redman however he couldn’t test the keeper.
Portadown had a massive opportunity to go in front when Ben Guy powered through the United defence and broke through with only the keeper to beat, with Glendinning making a great save to tip the ball away for a corner.
From the resulting corner Sam Warde could have got his second goal, hitting a low effort from edge of box which Glendinning gathered.
The visitors began to pile on the pressure in the final 20 minutes and had a massive chance when a ball was released to Ryan Waide at the near post and Carney did well to prevent the young striker from scoring.
The visitors got their goal after Ross Redmans initial header was parried by Carney, with the former Portadown defender firing in the rebound from close range.
The game finished with the visitors taking all three points. We are scheduled to be in action again this Tuesday night (2nd March) away to Coleraine. This game will kick off at 7:45pm
Full time score:
Portadown 1 (Warde 28’)
Ballymena United 2 (McCartan 41’, Redman 83’)
Match Sponsor – Palyn Transport
Match Ball Sponsor – Paul Jackson
PSS Man of the Match Sponsor – Terence & Kim Pentland
Match Officials – Referee – Steven Gregg / Assistant 1 – Gareth Eakin / Assistant 2 – Gavin Hegarty / 4th official – Louise Thompson
(Game took place behind closed doors)
Portadown XI: Carney (GK), McCallum, Finnegan, Salley (replaced by Murray 83’), Bonis, Wilson (C) (booked 66’), (replaced by McKeown 75’),Guy, Kerr, Warde (booked 58’), Scannell, Tilney
Portadown Substitutes: Buchanan (GK) (unused),McKeown, Lavery (unused), Murray, Teggart, Conaty (unused), Healy (unused).
(Managed by Matthew Tipton)
Ballymena United XI: Glendinning (GK), Redman, Winchester (C), McElroy, McCartan (replaced by Kane 92’), Waide, McGrory, Hume (booked 75’), Kelly, S Graham, Wylie (replaced by Knowles 90’).
Ballymena Utd Substitutes: D Graham (GK) (unused), Kane, Knowles, Ervin (unused), Beattie (unused), McCready (unused, Farquhar (unused)
(Managed by David Jeffrey)
Written by Alex Morrison.