Portadown manager Pat McGibbon not afraid to wield the axe
Portadown 0 Cliftonville 3
Portadown manager Pat McGibbon refused to shed any light on the mystery surrounding the decision to axe midfielder Sean Mackle and striker Mark McAllister from the first-team squad.
Already battling against extreme circumstances after Irish FA disciplinary action saw a ban on signing players on professional contracts and a 12 point penalty imposed on the Ports, McGibbon has now cut two of his more experienced players.
The duo were not involved in Saturday's 3-0 home defeat at the hands of Cliftonville after it emerged in the build up to the game that they no longer figure in McGibbon's plans.
"I don't want to talk about that at the minute," was all that McGibbon would offer on the matter.
McAllister in particular was missed as Cliftonville took their winning run against the Ports to 10 games on Saturday.
The Reds scored 13 minutes after the restart through Jason McGuinness; David McDaid doubled their advantage and fellow sub Stephen Garrett struck a sublime third in injury time.
"There has been a change in personnel, we've brought a few new players in and together with our County Antrim Shield tie that's three wins on the bounce now, two clean sheets in the Premiership and two wins, so we're very pleased with the way things are going," said assistant boss Mal Donaghy, who took charge in the absence of manager Gerard Lyttle.
PORTADOWN: McGaughey, Carson, Breen, O'Hara (Simpson ,70 mins), Rodgers, Shannon, R Garrett, Byrne, Parker (Kirwan, 80 mins), Haire, S Hughes (Kirwan, 80 mins). Unused subs: Miskelly, Henderson.
CLIFTONVILLE: J Mooney, Cosgrove, McGuinness, McGovern, Ives, M Donnelly, Harkin (G Donnelly, 70 mins), Winchester, J Donnelly (Garrett, 89 mins), Hughes (McDaid, 70 mins). Unused subs: Bonner, Curran.
Referee: A Utmans (Latvia)
Man of the match: Jude Winchester
Match rating: 7/10