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Portadown Match Preview
Uploaded Friday, 10th Mar, 2017 at 15:39

BALLYMENA United will hope to bounce back from their Irish Cup defeat last weekend with a home game against Portadown.
The last time the sides met was in December when United ran out 2-0 winners thanks to a brace of second half goals from Fra McCaffrey. Prior to that the Braidmen had defeated Portadown 2-0 at Shamrock Park in September, goals coming from Kyle Owens and Johnny McMurray.
Fra McCaffrey is congratulated after opening the scoring in the game in December
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Latest results v Portadown (all league unless stated):
Ballymena United 2-0 Portadown, Ballymena Showgrounds, 3rd December 2016. Att: 835
Portadown 0-2 Ballymena United, Shamrock Park, 17th September 2016. Att: 721
Ballymena United 0-2 Portadown, Ballymena Showgrounds, 30th April 2016. Att: 859
Portadown 3-4 Ballymena United, Shamrock Park, 1st January 2016. Att: 669
Ballymena United 1-1 Portadown, Ballymena Showgrounds, 21st November 2015. Att: 681
Portadown 3-2 Ballymena United, Shamrock Park, 10th October 2015. Att: 645
McCaffrey and Leroy Millar celebrate McCaffrey's 2nd goal of the win in December
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The last time United faced Portadown the Mid-Ulster side were still on negative points after disciplinary action seen them start the season on -12 points. Since then they have bagged 8 points in the league through home wins over Dungannon Swifts and Glenavon, a draw away to Linfield and a draw at home to Crusaders. They're still bottom of the league table, but stand a small chance of avoiding automatic relegation at the end of the season. They lost out 5-0 to Glenavon at Shamrock Park in the Tennent's Irish Cup quarter-final last weekend.
Ballymena United:
In the same period United have added 15 points to their points total with home wins over Coleraine, Dungannon Swifts and Carrick Rangers, and away wins over Glentoran and Ballinamallard United. Currently sitting 5th in the league, United trail what could be a crucial 3rd place finish by 6 points, with a game in hand over Cliftonville who currently occupy the spot. Like Portadown, the Sky Blues were defeated at home last weekend, going out of the Tennent's Irish Cup with a disappointing 4-0 defeat by rivals Coleraine.
NIFWA Awards
The Braidmen had a boost during the week when defender Tony Kane was awarded the NIFWA Player of the Month award, and manager David Jeffrey was awarded the NIFWA Manager of the Month award.
Match Officials:
Referee: Steven Gregg. Assistant 1: Ken Ross. Assistant 2: Paul Berry. 4th Official: Raymond Crangle.
Match Information:
Admission is payable at the gate.

Kick off is 3:00pm.
It's always tough facing teams battling against relegation and, as manager David Jeffrey said during the week, "Every team in the league will want something from every game". As always, your vocal support as our 12th man will be hugely appreciated by the players and management so get down to the Showgrounds and sing your hearts out for the Sky Blues!
Match Preview by Paul Irwin