Michael Gault celebrates grabbing Portadown's late winner (Picture: William Cherry/PressEye.com)
Monday, 05 January 2015
Goals at either end of the game saw Portadown pick up a crucial three points from Institute's Monday night visit to Shamrock Park.
The win sees Ronnie McFall's side close the gap on leaders Crusaders to just two points but moves them five ahead of defending champions Cliftonville.
Sean Mackle opened the scoring as early as the second minute. A long Darren Murray throw-in was nodded on by Michael Gault for Mackle to deliver into the top corner from just inside the box.
Chris Ramsey almost doubled Portadown's lead after a quarter-of-an-hour with an effort from just outside the area which Martin Gallagher did well to scramble around an upright.
'Stute had their chances as well with Cormac Burke coming closest late in the half only to narrowly miss the target.
But Paul Kee's side did get back on level terms early in the second half when Stephen Curry got on the end of an Aaron Walsh free-kick to send the ball past David Miskelly at the second time of asking.
Then, after an hour, Gault might have restored Portadown's advantage only to head just over from a Ross Redman cross.
However, the Ports skipper wasn't to be denied right at the end after a superb solo effort which saw him collected the ball in the middle of the park before bringing it forward to leave Gallagher helpless with a low drive into the night.
Portadown: Miskelly, Casement, Redman, Ramsey, Breen, P. McMahon, Mackle, Murray, McAllister, Gault, Garrett subs Brennan (not used), Mouncey (replaced Mackle 86), McElroy (replaced McMahon 67), Twigg (replaced Murray 65), Conaty (not used)
Institute: Gallagher, Crown, McLaughlin, O'Donnell, Taylor, Walsh, McManus, Forker, Burke, Hume, S. Curry subs Mulcahy (not used), Young (replaced Hume 77), Thompson (not used), McKeever (not used), R. Doherty (not used)
Referee: Tim Marshall