Belfast Telegraph

Lateral thinking ends Portadown's losing streak

Portadown 0 - Ballinamallard 0

By Stuart McKinley

Portadown caretaker manager Pat McGibbon revealed that concerns over the fitness of his players was behind his request for the Shamrock Park pitch to be narrowed.

The touchlines on either side were brought in by a couple of metres ahead of Saturday's clash with Ballinamallard United.

The move was a tactical one too and it all contributed to McGibbon picking up his first point since taking the reins on a temporary basis following Ronie McFall's resignation, ending a five-game losing streak.

"We know where our limitations are at the minute and we have been trying to build up our fitness levels, but March/April is not the right time to be doing that, so we thought that narrowing the pitch a bit would give us less ground to cover," said McGibbon.

"At the same time we don't have any natural wingers at the minute so we can't play with any width, even though I would like to play that way."

The Ports came closest to breaking the deadlock when Ballinamallard goalkeeper Stefan McCusker superbly tipped Gary Twigg's header onto a post. Earlier Portadown No. 1 David Miskelly made an outfield player-style tackle on Ivan Sproule to deny him.

"If you have a platform there and you aren't conceding goals that's really important," said McGibbon.

Belfast Telegraph


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