PORTADOWN: Points over perfection for Matthew Tipton ahead of Ballyclare Comrades clash

Portadown manager Matthew Tipton is happy to sacrifice the pursuit of perfection in favour of a more prosaic approach to points.

Friday, 14th September 2018, 6:00 pm
Portadown manager Matthew Tipton.

A 2-2 draw at home to Limavady United last Friday encapsulated the Ports’ season with a performance that covered the full spectrum for Tipton.

Although unbeaten across five Bluefin Sport Championship fixtures heading into tomorrow’s visit by Ballyclare Comrades to Shamrock Park, Tipton appreciates room for improvement but accepts the work-in-progress.

“We all work towards the perfect goal but the reality is you cannot hit those heights every time and then it is about being ready to respond to any situation,” said Tipton. “We aspire to reaching high standards given the hard work and quality at this club, of course, but also must make sure if that is not possible we are in the right position.

Ballyclare Comrades manager Stephen Hughes. Pic by PressEye Ltd.

“You want to limit your own mistakes, cover your team-mate if something does go wrong and then be ready to capitalise on any opposition errors.

“Mistakes happen and you need that ruthless edge to take full advantage.

“Against Limavady we were rubbish, then really good then indifferent across periods in each half.

“We scored a good goal for 1-0 but allowed Limavady back into the match and then responded with a nice piece of play for the equaliser.

“We must not panic on days like that when it is not completely clicking and that is when reacting to something that breaks in your favour can make a difference, rather than trying to force the perfect cross, pass or goal.”

Ballyclare have managed to maintain the momentum of the previous few seasons despite a managerial change and Tipton is anticipating an expansive game.

“Ballyclare have continued on with that same style of play which has been so beneficial in recent seasons,” said Tipton. “They will want to come here and attack us and we expect a tough test but a decent game.

“It is still about working hard together and learning about our style of play and ways we want to go about our jobs.

“That takes time but no-one gives you anything in the Championship and we have to get to that point when we can press home our own positive periods.”

Ballyclare Comrades manager Stephen Hughes always knew their September programme was going to be challenging, writes George Brown.

The Comrades have the two relegated teams – Ballinamallard United and Carrick Rangers - and the two fancied title challengers – Portadown and Larne - in quick succession across September.

“We will go to Shamrock Park with no fear,” he said. “Portadown and ourselves have both drawn with Limavady, so a mighty battle is on the cards.

“Matthew has assembled a strong squad but we too have strength in depth,

“Portadown will have noted that we recovered from 3-0 to win 4-3 against the Welders, and that we have seen off Ballinamallard, so they will be going all out to claim our scalp and end our undefeated league record.

“With Larne playing Dundela, that means that the top four will be playing against each other.

“If we can come through September unbeaten we will be in a fantastic position.”