I wouldn't stop Edwards making 'life-changing' switch: Tipton
Matthew Tipton has revealed that Bobby Edwards would have stayed to help Portadown secure promotion to the Premiership had he not encouraged the American goalkeeper to grab the opportunity to play full-time football.
New Jersey native Edwards has secured a deal with an MLS club and was already making his way back across the Atlantic as the Ports moved six points clear at the top of the Bluefin Sport Championship with a 4-2 win at H&W Welders on Saturday.
"I've seen the contract and it's a life-changing contract," said Tipton.
"I want on record that Bobby wanted to stay. I had a serious conversation where I said to him 'Bobby, you have to take this.'
"He wanted to see out the season and he's told everyone that.
"This isn't Bobby's doing, it's more my doing. As manager of this club, I am also the manager of a young man who has moved from the other side of the world to us with the promise of playing full-time football.
"When that comes and he gets an opportunity to go home I wouldn't have felt comfortable saying no to him and I wouldn't have felt comfortable encouraging him to stay either."
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Two goals from Adam Salley, the second from the penalty spot, helped the Ports atone for a defeat at the Welders earlier in the season. Lee Bonis and Liam McKenna were also on target, with the Welders getting on the mark thanks to Lukas Gwaizda and a Paul Finnegan own goal.
Second-placed Ballinamallard United slipped up as Loughgall won at Ferney Park for the second time this season.
Nathaniel Ferris put the visitors in front and Dale Malone netted the late winner after Ryan Campbell's first-half equaliser.
Ards twice came from behind to secure a 2-2 draw with Ballyclare Comrades. Kym Nelson headed a first-half equaliser after Joe Tully's penalty had put the Comrades in front and, after he got his second of the game, Craig McMillen grabbed a point for the north Down men.
A week after knocking Linfield out of the Irish Cup, Queen's University hammered four past Knockbreda. Ben Mulgrew, Matt Hughes, Jonah Mitchell and David Magee got the goals, which all came in the first-half.
Newry City also scored all their goals in the first-half as they beat PSNI 3-0, with John Boyle, Adam Foley and Mark Hughes on the mark.
RESULTS: Ards 2 Ballyclare Comrades 2, Ballinamallard United 1 Loughgall 2, Newry City 3 PSNI 0, H&W Welders 2 Portadown 4, Queen's University 4 Knockbreda 0.