Ports show desire to go the extra yard for Tipton
Matthew Tipton put Portadown's 2-1 victory over Loughgall down to character rather than quality.
The Ports maintained their five-point lead over Ballinamallard United at the top of the Bluefin Sport Championship table despite a performance that Tipton admitted wasn't up to standard.
Loughgall took a deserved lead eight minutes after the break thanks to Peter Campbell after making a strong start to the second half.
The Ports then got lucky twice in the final 20 minutes, first when Loughgall goalkeeper Gareth Buchanan could only head the ball straight up into the air on the edge of his box, allowing Aaron Duke to head home from distance.
They got the winner six minutes from time when Buchanan was almost caught out by Liam McKenna's free kick, tipping the ball onto the crossbar, and when Duke pulled the ball back from a tight angle Conall McGrandles was on hand to force the ball home from a yard out to claim his second winning goal in as many games.
"I couldn't explain why we were so bad, but what I can explain is the reason why we managed to win," said Tipton.
"They've got a bit of character and a bit of heart about them and a desire and a willingness to go that extra yard.
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"I can't sit here and praise them, because we were poor but we showed something that we've got and we've shown it all season long. They've got that bit of extra. Desire and belief that we've not going to get beaten and we're going to put our bodies on the line and keep going right to the death - which we did."
The Mallards took their goal tally to nine in two games with a 5-0 victory at home to PSNI.
Ryan Campbell scored twice in the first half either side of a goal from Jason McCartney. Campbell then completed his hat-trick after the break before Nathan Cashel fired home the fifth.
Dundela made the most of Loughgall's defeat to move within five points of third place with a 2-0 away win at Dergview.
Ballyclare Comrades are three points off the top half after a 2-1 win at Queen's University. Adam Gray put the Comrades ahead early in the game and Joe Tully struck the winner after Gary Donnelly's leveller for the students.
BLUEFIN SPORT CHAMPIONSHIP RESULTS: Ballinamallard United 5 PSNI 0, Dergview 0 Dundela 2, Portadown 2 Loughgall 1, Queen's University 1 Ballyclare Comrades 2; H&W Welders v Ards and Knockbreda v Newry City (both postponed).