ANOTHER MATCH BALL FOR VERTAINEN
Eetu Vertainen bagged a hat-trick for the second Saturday in a row as Linfield hit six past Portadown at Shamrock Park.
Joel Cooper opened the scoring on ten minutes from close range after Vertainen had laid the ball off into his own path.
Portadown came close to levelling soon after only for Eoghan McCawl to strike the post from outside the box but, on 22 minutes, Vertainen doubled Linfield's lead after being left unmarked inside the box.
The home side did find the net just before the break, however, courtesy of Paddy McNally's header from an Alberto Balde free-kick.
Vertainen restored Linfield's two-goal lead on 58 minutes with a volley past Jethren Barr from Kirk Millar's cross from the left before, with a quarter-of-an-hour remaining, he made it 4-1 after again receiving the ball from Millar.
Cooper then grabbed his second goal of the game with four minutes to go with a low finish beyond Barr from Matthew Clarke's free-kick.
And Chris McKee completed the scoring not long after that after getting on the end of a deflection to bundle the ball home.
Portadown: Barr, Wilson, Balde, Russell, McKeown, Chapman, McNally, Rodgers, McCawl, Friel, McElroy subs Upton, Stedman, Moorhouse, Teggart, Jordan, Igiehon, Walker
Linfield: Johns, Roscoe, Newberry, Millar, Cooper, McDaid, Clarke, Finlayson, Mulgrew, Vertainen, Palmer subs Hall, McKee, Devine, Haygarth, Pepper, Quinn, Clarke