Irish Premiership: Portadown 2-1 Ballymena United

Portadown beat Ballymena 2-1 to go top of the Irish Premiership on goal difference

Portadown returned to the top of the Irish Premiership thanks to a hard-earned win over Ballymena United.

Kyle McVey shot Ballymena into the lead in the 13th minute and they were still in front when they had Johnny Taylor sent-off early in the second half.

Taylor was judged to have been the last man when he brought down Darren Murray but Portadown soon had Robert Garrett dismissed for two yellow cards.

Peter McMahon (72) and Gary Twigg (82) scored the Portadown goals.

McMahon hooked in a right-foot shot when the ball finally fell to him from Mark McAllister's cross.

Twigg netted a close-range header to leave Ronnie McFall's leading the table on goal difference.

The Shamrock Park side are level with Cliftonville and Linfield on 24 points.

Portadown striker Mark McAllister: "I was on the bench for the first half and it was a hard game to watch.

"It was a scrappy match. It was one of those you have to grind out and thankfully we managed that."