Portadown pair doubtful for Cliftonville clash

Kevin Braniff
Kevin Braniff has scored 17 league goals this season

Portadown striker Kevin Braniff and midfielder Jamie Tomelty are injury concerns for the Premiership meeting with Cliftonville at Shamrock Park.

The duo sat out training after suffering strains and could miss a vital game in the title race.

Both teams need a win to keep the pressure on leaders Linfield, who take on basement side Carrick Rangers.

Meanwhile, Dungannon Swifts keeper Niall Morgan has been named as the Carling Player of the Month.

Portadown trail the Blues by seven points while third-placed Cliftonville are a further three points back.

"There are no easy places to go and win football matches in this league and Shamrock Park is right up there with the most difficult," Reds boss Tommy Breslin told the club website.

"They haven't had a game for a fortnight, while we travelled to face Shamrock Rovers in the Setanta on Monday, so they will be well rested and very well prepared for what's a big game.

"I'm sure Ronnie McFall hasn't given up hope of overhauling Linfield at the top of the table so their mindset will be all about getting at us, getting some goals and getting three points.

"Our attitude needs to be similar in so much as we're also looking to catch the team above us - which just so happens to be Portadown."

Crusaders midfielder Aidan Watson is suspended as the north Belfast side travel to Coleraine in a repeat of last weekend's Irish Cup quarter-final.

A ban keeps Glenavon full-back Kyle Neill out of the Mourneview Park match against his former club Glentoran.

Ballymena United boss Glenn Ferguson has no fresh injury worries as the Sky Blues prepare to take on Lisburn Distillery at the Showgrounds.