Ronnie McFall praises Ports for comeback win over Rangers
Portadown 3-2 Carrick Rangers
Ronnie McFall admitted his side made hard work of this comeback victory but the result was all that mattered as Portadown ended a six-match losing run with a last-gasp headed winner.
There was still dissent from the home supporters who want a change of manager but the second-half display, which the Ports started two goals behind and then had to play the last half hour with 10 men, proved that the players are quite happy to keep performing for their veteran boss. And, in turn, McFall praised his players.
"We were very poor in the first half but the second shows what we are capable of, the character and commitment in the side," he said.
"I didn't have to say anything at half-time, they said it themselves and now we have to keep that going in every match for the rest of the season."
In contrast, opposite number Gary Haveron didn't know what happened in the second half.
"Everything we did in the first was good and positive and all we were guilty of was not scoring three or four," he said.
"We were in good positions on numerous occasions in the second half but we didn't do anything with it. We made the wrong choice or took too many touches, we were the makers of our own downfall and to concede a goal with the last header of the match is hard to take."
Ken Oman converted it, from a Ross Redman corner, 20 minutes after he was also unmarked to head in a Redman free-kick.
It was all so different in the first half as Miguel Chines and Conor McCloskey put Carrick two up inside 25 minutes, against a team badly lacking in confidence.
But the introduction of Darren Murray as an extra forward proved a vital change and when Brian Neeson let a Gary Twigg shot slip through his fingers just seven minutes into the half, the force was with Portadown and even the dismissal of Garry Breen, for a two-footed challenge, couldn't change that.
"We don't want to be down in the bottom half of table," added Haveron.
"If we had won today we could have leapfrogged Portadown with a win on Tuesday night and now Tuesday's game becomes even more important."
PORTADOWN: Miskelly, Casement (Breen, 46 mins), Gault, Oman, Redman, McMahon (Murray, 46 mins), Garrett, Ramsey, Mackle, Twigg, McAllister (Mouncey, 64 mins).
CARRICK: Neeson, Kane, Doyle, Taggart, Traynor, McCloskey, Harmon, McNeill, Surgenor, Roy (Browne, 78 mins), Chines.
Man of the match: Ken Oman (pictured)
Match rating: 6/10
Referee: Raymond Crangle (Belfast)