Ballymena Utd 2-4 Portadown

Portadown stay level on points with leaders Linfield after this impressive win over Ballymena United.

Brian Gartland put Portadown ahead on 7 and Kevin Braniff doubled Portadown's lead on 26.

An Alan Teggart goal and Gary McCutcheon penalty brought Ballymena level before half-time with Gartland being sent-off in the penalty incident.

But Sean Mackle restored the Ports' lead and after Denvir Gage was sent-off, Braniff hit Portadown's fourth.

The results means Ballymena remain without a home win in this year's Carling Premiership.

It might have been so different for the Sky Blues if Baker and Surgenor had not missed early chances.

Baker attempted to fire home with his right foot when a left-foot shot surely represented the better option while Surgenor headed wide from close range.

Ballymena were made to pay for the early misses as Gartland fired home on seven minutes and Braniff's excellent finish on 26 doubled the Ports advantage.

However, the Braidmen were back in the game as Teggart volleyed home on 29 and they were level on 38 as McCutcheon fired home from the spot after he himself had been fouled by Gartland.

Gartland received a straight red card for the challenge as Ballymena appeared to have the momentum.

But Portadown were ahead again a minute after the break as Mackle gloriously blasted home after a Braniff nod-down.

Despite having the man advantage, Ballymena struggled badly in the 20 minutes after half-time and keeper Wayne Drummond had to make great saves to deny Braniff and Matthew Tipton.

Portadown keeper David Miskelly did have to make a magnificent save to deny McCutcheon while the Ports custodian also denied Teggart as the Braidmen finally rallied.

But Ballymena's Denver Gage was sent off four minutes from time after picking up a second yellow card and Braniff then nodded home Neil McCafferty's free-kick to seal Portadown's win.

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