Belfast Telegraph

Delighted Arkins determined to see Ports rise from basement

Ballinamallard United 1 Portadown 2

By Gareth Cauldwell

Interim Portadown manager Vinny Arkins is hoping that Saturday's win over Ballinamallard United at Ferney Park is the turning point for their season.

The 12-point deduction means the Ports are still adrift at the bottom of the table - eight behind Carrick - but this win cuts the gap between them and 10th placed Ballinamallard to 14.

It was the home side who enjoyed the better of the exchanges in the first half, but Portadown went in at the break with the advantage thanks to a Niall Henderson penalty - their first goal in 491 minutes of league football.

Stephen Hughes doubled the lead early in the second half but Ballinamallard hit back through Shane McGinty and had chances to grab an equaliser. However, Portadown held on and it was a win that delighted Arkins as they brought a six-game losing streak in the league to an end.

"It is amazing to get a win in my first game in charge as manager. It was touch and go to the very end, but those are the games that you walk away from and feel bit of pride that the lads dug in to the final minute," said Arkins.

"I said it a few weeks ago at Dungannon that hopefully that was the bottom and hopefully this is the turning point and the club can build from here on in."

Arkins has been appointed on an interim basis and is determined to help the club move in the right direction.

"I'm very passionate about this club," he said. "The club was very good to me when I was here and I want to give something back. I just hope that I can be part of turning this club around."

BALLINAMALLARD: McGrath, McMenamin, Taheny, McCabe, McGinty, Lafferty (Armstrong, 83 mins), McCartney, McConnell, Lecky, Mayse, Owens (McIlwaine, 79 mins).

PORTADOWN: McCaughey, Carson, Oman, Byrne, O'Hara, Parker, Garrett, Henderson, Shannon, Hughes (Kirwan, 83 mins), Haire (Ferris, 90 mins).

Referee: Mervyn Smyth (Belfast)

Man of the match: Robert Garrett

Match rating: 7/10

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