Portadown 1 Lisburn Distillery 0
Ronnie McFall‘s mid-season team building exercise is paying massive dividends.
The Portadown manager has recruited four new players, as well as letting two leave, in an attempt to move away from the bottom of the Carling Premiership.
And one of those new-boys, Matthew Tipton, was the hero last night as his strike on the hour gave the Ports victory against Lisburn Distillery.
The Distillery goal had two close shaves around the 15-minute mark when debutant goalkeeper Billy Brennan beat out a shot from Philip Craig.
Just after the half hour two pieces of brilliant defending denied Jordan Baker. His first shot was brilliantly parried by Brennan and when he fired the rebound goalwards, Phil Simpson was well positioned to clear off the line.
Brennan’s brilliance continued on 38 minutes when he saved point blank from Tipton. Stuart Thompson fired in Distillery’s first effort of note, but Ports keeper Neil Armstrong held on securely.
Portadown opened brightly after the break and Sean Mackle forced Brennan to turn his shot round the upright.
Brennan was finally beaten on the hour with a brilliant move finished off with a superb header from Tipton. The ball swept across the pitch and Craig sent in a perfect cross to the far post which the striker buried from close in.
Distillery almost levelled on 72 minutes when substitute Mark Cooling powered down the right but his shot whizzed over the top.
PORTADOWN: Armstrong, Mackle, Redman, O’Hara, Clarke, Boyle, Mouncey, Baker, Tipton, Breen, Craig. Subs: Hogg, McCafferty, Lecky (for Baker 81m), McCullough, Teggart.
LISBURN DISTILLERY: Brennan, McShane, Hunter, G. Thompson, Ferguson, Browne, Simpson, Liggett, Cushley, S. Thompson, Devlin. Subs: Curran, Cooling (for Devlin 55 m), Davidson (for Ferguson 76m), Forsythe, Hughes (for Cushley 69m).
Referee: Tim Marshall (Irvinestown)