Bottom side Portadown have endured a disastrous start to the season, picking up just a solitary point from their 16 games played. Since claiming that point (in a 1-1 home draw with local rivals Glenavon at the end of September) they have gone on to lose their last 8 games in a row, scoring just 1 goal in that run and failing to score in any of the last 5. A change in manager during that period - Dundela manager Niall Currie returning for a second spell in charge of his hometown club in place of Paul Doolin - has so far failed to bring a charge in results but the renowned wheeler dealer has already commenced his reshaping of the squad; former Glenavon and Warrenpoint forward Greg Moorhouse arriving as a free agent and summer signings Jason Akiotu and Tumelo Tlou agreeing to leave.
Currie only named 6 of the 7 possible substitutes for last week’s 2-0 defeat to Carrick Rangers at Taylor’s Avenue and will have even fewer options open to him for this game, with on loan Glentoran striker Jordan Jenkins ineligible to face his parent club. French forward Don De Dieu Tantale or teenager Igor Rutkowski are likely to replace him.
Incredibly, the Ports have only managed to score a total of 4 league goals in 16 games; making Jenkins (on 2) their top scorer and responsible for 50% of their goalscoring output to date. At the other end, they also have the worst defensive record in the league having conceded 42 goals and are already 14 points adrift of 10th place Newry City in the battle to avoid relegation to the Championship.
Glentoran have secured 4 wins and one draw in our last 5 visits to Mid Ulster, including a 3-0 win at the start of the current campaign via goals from James Singleton, Conor McMenamin and Hrvoje Plum. The last win for Portadown was in December 2015; a topsy turvy goal fest that saw Ronnie McFall’s side overcome Alan Kernaghan’s Glens 5-3. We will of course be without the injured Conor McMenamin.