FEW saw this one coming! Dergview, second bottom and without a league win since early October, toppling league leaders Portadown.
More pleasing from Derg boss Ivan Sproule’s perspective is that this was no fluke. The 3-1 victory, courtesy of goals by Paul Smith, Sean McCarron and Matty Callaghan was richly deserved and will give the Championship strugglers real hope that they can pull away from the relegation mire in the coming weeks.
One swallow, of course, doesn’t make a summer and in his post match comments Sproule insisted his players will have to back up this stunning result with another when they host fellow relegation candidates the PSNI in six days’ time.
The win, Dergview’s fifth of the season, takes them three points clear of Knockbreda and to within one of the PSNI. The North Tyrone men also have three games in hand of both and a significantly superior goal difference.
Earlier in the season the Derg men had twice given a good account of themselves against the high-flying Ports but on each occasion they came up just short.
On Saturday though it all came good for the Derg men in a scintillating second half performance.
Smith opened the scoring with a sensational free kick which flew high past a flailing Daniel Devine with the help of a slight deflection before McCarron combined superbly with Stephen Curry on the left to finish with a rasping low shot across the keeper.
The third arrived two minutes from time following a sweeping counter attack with Emmett McNabb and Smith carving apart the Ports defence for the excellent Callaghan to finish from close range.
Lee Bonis pulled a goal back deep in stoppage-time to have the last word but it mattered not. Dergview had won a league game for the first time since defeating Knockbreda on October 5. The fact it was against the league leaders made it one to savour.
FULL REPORT AND REACTION IN TOMORROW’S TYRONE HERALD