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Ballymena United 1 Portadown 2

By Ian Cahoon

Matchwinner Kevin Braniff is hoping his return to fitness and form can help Portadown finally start climbing the Danske Bank Premiership table.

Braniff has struggled for a consistent run in Ronnie McFall’s team this season through injury, but four goals in his last two outings has announced his return.

His latest brace came in Saturday’s win Ballymena United and the former Millwall man admits he is licking his lips at the prospect of linking up with former Shamrock Rovers striker Gary Twigg.

“I’m just glad to get back on the scoresheet because it’s been a slow return having been out with injuries and things,” Braniff said.

“I just want to keep myself fit and keep scoring hopefully.

“Coming up towards January we’ve got (Gary) Twigg coming in and hopefully he can help bolster us when he arrives.

“Our main aim is just go climb the table as much as we can and hopefully someone like that will help us. I’ve heard a lot of good things about him and he’s obviously a goalscorer. So if we have him, myself and Darren Murray scoring goals then there’s no reason why we can’t push on.

“If we keep playing like we did in the second half against Ballymena and the week before against Cliftonville, we shouldn’t be too far away.”

Braniff’s second half double — a sweet strike into the top corner from 20 yards and a neat sliding volley from six — turned the game on its head after young Chris Rodgers (pictured with Braniff) had given Glenn Ferguson’s men an eighth minute lead.

And the former Northern Ireland Under-21 striker admits they were on the receiving end of a half-time dressing down after a lacklustre first half.

“We were pleased with the second half, but the first was a bit scrappy and we gave away a soft goal,” added Braniff.

“We got a bit of a rollicking at half-time, and it was deserved, but we came out and did the job in the second half.

“Three points was a must for us so we knew coming out at the start of the second half we had to get an early goal if we were to win it.

“Getting that early goal gave us the chance to go on and get a second and thankfully we did enough.”

Belfast Telegraph


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