Belfast Telegraph

Portadown know the value goals can add

By Graham Lune

Ballinamallard United won't thank me for saying this but it's a little refreshing to watch a team rip apart opponents without any sense of guilt.

It's not just points that matter in football – goals matter too. Just ask former Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson who suffered as Sergio Aguero's dramatic late goal against Queens Park Rangers earned Manchester City their maiden Premier League title on goal difference last year.

Portadown are flexing their muscles in the Danske Bank Premiership this season and should they go on to win their first title since 2002 on goal difference then they will remember Saturday with huge affection.

The 11-0 win at Shamrock Park on Saturday was a club record victory and equalled the record set by Distillery in 1966 when the Whites defeated Bangor by the same scoreline.

Gary Twigg and Kevin Braniff scored hat-tricks while Peter McMahon (2), Darren Murray (2) and Ryan McStay completed the hammering.

Portadown manager Ronnie McFall will recall the breathtaking 1994 league title sprint when his side had the same number of points as their mid-Ulster Glenavon going into the final round of matches – but a vastly superior goal difference.

However, they played out a draw while Linfield beat Glentoran to clinch it. It was a reminder to McFall how fine the line is between first and nowhere.

That's why big Ronnie couldn't feel the Mallards' pain on Saturday. It pays to be ruthless in football and Portadown's hunger for goals at the weekend could see them taste champagne at the finish line.

Belfast Telegraph

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