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Portadown keen to take huge step to promotion after signing Glenavon striker Murray



On mission: Matthew Tipton

On mission: Matthew Tipton


On mission: Matthew Tipton

Portadown boss Matthew Tipton has challenged his players to land a psychological blow on Ballinamallard United in tomorrow's top-of-the-table clash in the Bluefin Sport Championship.

The Shamrock Park showdown is of huge importance as the hosts know a victory would see them go nine points clear of their title rivals.

The promised land of the Danske Bank Premiership is coming into view, but the Ports must hold their nerve and keep delivering under the pressure.

"It's a massive game because we are six points clear and we want to be nine points clear," said Tipton, whose side have won eight of their last 10 league matches.

"We are on a good run of form, but we appreciate the challenge as Ballinamallard have beaten us home and away this season.

"If we play to our maximum I'm confident we can get the result we want. Psychologically it would be a really big result for us as it would create more daylight between the teams. That's what we are targeting and thinking about.

"Even if we lose we will still be clear of them, but we aren't thinking that way.

"Hopefully the fans will turn out in big numbers and back us all the way because their support is a great help."

The Ports have been buoyed by the signing of Glenavon striker Stephen Murray, who scored 22 Premiership goals in two years in Lurgan.

"I want to help the club win the league and get up to where I and most of the country think they belong," he said.

"Three seasons ago I won the Championship with Warrenpoint so I know what it's all about and how tough a league it is to get out of. I'm looking forward to helping in any way I can."

Bluefin Sport Championship fixtures: Tonight: Ards v PSNI (7.45pm); Tomorrow: Knockbreda v H&W Welders (2pm), Queens University v Newry City (2pm), Ballyclare Comrades v Dergview (3pm), Dundela v Loughgall (3pm), Portadown v Ballinamallard United (3pm)

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