Belfast Telegraph

Warrenpoint Town boss Barry Gray wants to crank up the pressure on Ports

By Graham Luney

Warrenpoint Town boss Barry Gray hopes his side can drag Portadown deeper into the relegation mire this afternoon.

Portadown face Town at Shamrock Park as caretaker manager Pat McGibbon searches for his first win in charge of a side that has lost five of their last six.

Ninth-placed Portadown are only three points ahead of Carrick Rangers and four ahead of Ballinamallard United, who occupy the play-off spot. Gray has seen his side's relegation fightback stall in recent games after two 3-1 defeats on the bounce, but he goes into this game knowing that Point have won the last two meetings against the Ports.

"It's probably a good time to go to them," said Gray. "They were beaten last week, and we go in thinking if you beat them you pull them into the mix, but I think it's just a case of starting again.

"It's difficult and I just hope it doesn't take 20-odd games like it did the last time to get going! Portadown are looking to bounce back and put a plug in it and they probably look at us as a good chance to do that but we've always done fairly well at Shamrock Park.

"For two months it didn't matter whether we were going into the split or Timbuktu and that's why you have to be realistic and remember September, October, November and December and that's it. We'll fight on."

Irish FA disciplinary chiefs will meet on Tuesday, April 5 to determine if Portadown have been in breach of wage cap rules with regard to undisclosed payments to a player or players.

A Disciplinary Committee hearing due to take place on Wednesday this week was postponed.

Meanwhile, former Linfield, Portadown and Ballymena United striker Matthew Tipton has called time on his playing career after leaving the Sky Blues.

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