Portadown continued their excellent recent form with a strong showing to defeat neighbours Loughgall in front of a packed Lakeview Park on Boxing Day. Gary Warwick was the star of the show with a fantastic hat-trick that now means Niall Currie’s side have scored 17 goals in their last 3 games.
The Ports made a blistering start and raced into a two-goal lead after the opening quarter of an hour. In the 7th minute Chris Lavery’s floated free-kick was headed home by Adam Salley. And on 15 minutes Warwick found space on the edge of the Loughgall penalty area where he had time to pick his spot beyond the diving Gareth Buchanan.
The hosts rallied well and began to threaten; on 27 minutes Dale Montgomery’s excellent skill bamboozled Fra Brennan before crossing for Peter Campbell at the far post however the winger couldn’t keep his effort on target.
In the 37th minute Montgomery forced a good save from Chris McGaughey as Portadown’s keeper had to be alert to get down low to push Montgomery’s free-kick past the post.
Montgomery was again involved in Loughgall’s most threatening attacks and this time he provided the assist through an excellent cross that Conor Mullen glanced home inside the post to pull a goal back 7 minutes before half-time.
On the stroke of half-time Loughgall left-back Craig Taylor was well-positioned to clear off the goal line after Kyle McVey had rose highest to head a corner goalwards.
The Ports extended their lead just three minutes after the interval when Warwick tapped home from close range after Adam Salley’s initial effort was well parried by Buchanan.
On 70 minutes Salley almost netted his second goal when he struck the post from a well-hit free-kick from 25 yards.
Portadown completed the scoring in the 76th minute in tremendous fashion as Warwick smashed a wonderful dipping half-volley into the top corner of the net.
Loughgall: Buchanan, Montgomery, Taylor (Crooks 51m), Copeland, Stewart, Finlay, Ferguson, Mullen, P Campbell, Hoey (Dallas 70m), McConnell. Unused subs: Robinson, Neill, Stretton.
Portadown: McCaughey, N Henderson, Brennan (Neill 86m), McVey, McCallum, McCullough, Kilmartin, Warwick (Duffin 84m), D Henderson (Holmes 80), Salley, C Lavery. Unused subs: L.Wilson, Larkin.