Portadown 2-1 Ballinamallard Utd

Goals early in the second half by Mark Patton and Sean Mackle proved just enough to give Portadown a valuable victory over Ballinamallard United.

Patton netted from just a few yards out in the 49th minute after the dangerous Darren Murray made ground on the left and played the ball over.

Patton then provided the final ball for Mackle to net in front of goal on 62.

Andy Crawford pulled a goal back for Ballinamallard but despite late Mallards pressure, the Ports held on.

The first half was quite even with Jamie Tomelty pulling an early shot wide for the Ports and United's Chris Curran forcing a full-stretch save from home keeper David Miskelly.

Former Linfield star Tomelty went closest to a first-half goal when his low drive struck an upright.

Portadown were on top at the start of the second half and Mackle should have scored when United keeper Alvin Rouse failed to hold on to Tomelty's shot. Somehow Mackle hoisted the ball over with the goal gaping in front of him.

Former Lisburn Distillery midfielder Patton had a simple finish after Murray's fine work on the left for 1-0.

Then a sweeping move saw Tomelty send Patton away on the right flank and he played it across for Mackle who made no mistake this time.

Ballinamallard, starting the day in second place, hit back with Crawford's 66th-minute strike.

Ryan Campbell forced a fine save by Ports keeper Miskelly and Chris Curran went close with a couple of efforts as Ballinamallard fought to salvage a point.