By Tommy Nethery
Dean Shiels is still looking for his first win as Dungannon Swifts manager after his team were edged out in this basement battle at Stangmore Park this afternoon.
A Lee Bonis goal on the stroke of half-time was all that separated the sides in what had been an entertaining tussle.
That though will be of little consolation to Shiels. The reverse was a seventh straight defeat for Swifts who remain rock bottom six points adrift of their opponents and one behind Carrick Rangers
Dungannon began in positive fashion with Ryan Mayse looking particularly lively playing in behind the front two of Daniel Hughes and Rory Patterson.
The first opportunity though fell to the visitors with Nathan Kerr’s stinging 25-yard shot drawing an excellent save from Roy Carroll.
At the other end Jacob Carney held a rising effort by Mayse and then pulled off a superb double stop to thwart both Mayse and Shane McGinty.
Even at this stage the contest was a pretty open with Daniel Hughes shooting weakly at Carney in the wake of a good run by Caolin Coyle before Carroll, at full stretch, saved a deflected shot from Barney McKeown.
Stephen Murray then twice went close for the visitors, firing an angled drive inches wide before lobbing just over Carroll’s crosbar after being ushered in by Lee Bonis.
Dungannon failed to heed that particular warning and on the stroke of half-time Bonis was on hand to divert a McKeown shot past Carroll.
The hosts upped the ante on the resumption of the second half with Kerr taking the ball off Mayse’s toe as the attacker prepared to pull the trigger before Mayse turned provider for Hughes but the striker’s shot lacked any real conviction.
The Ports responded through Murray but this time Carroll saved with his legs before the same player fizzed wide from the edge of the box.
The nearest Dungannon came to rescuing a point was when sub James Convie cannoned a curling free kick against Carney’s left upright.
Dungannon Swifts: Carroll; Coyle; Teggart; M Smyth; Byers; McGee; McGinty; Mayse (Gallagher 80); Patton (Forde 68); Patterson (Convie 61); Hughes.
Subs not used: Johnston; Campbell; Glenny; O Smyth.
Portadown: Carney; McCallum; Finnegan; McKeown; Guy (Conaty 89); Kerr; Tipton; Tilney; Lavery (Scannell 89); Bonis; Murray.
Subs not used: Buchanan; Hall; Croskery; Wade; Healy.
Referee: J Robinson.