Down’s senior side slumped to an embarrassing and humiliating defeat against a side four leagues below them last weekend in this Irish Junior Cup tie.

While forced to go into the game missing a number of regulars, Down created enough chances to win three or four games and their inability to find the back of the net cost them dear.

They should have swept aside the challenge of Portadown who play in the same league as the Malone Park outfit's second string, but they failed to take their opponents seriously and paid the ultimate price.

Down have struggled all season. They are not playing as a cohesive unit and are failing to hit the backboard with an regularity.

They should have seen off Parkview last weekend and while on paper the cup clash against Portadown should have been an away win, nothing is guaranteed in any sport.

Down have to regroup and quickly. They must get back to their fluid passing game, keep their tempers in check and focus on the game in hand. They face a tough test against Portrush this weekend and, on current form, will struggle for the rest of the season if they don't sort themselves out.

Down were in disarray and not for the first time this season, were forced to play at one stage with nine men after Stephen Ferguson and Ashley Gibson were yellow-carded.

The Portadown goalkeeper had an inspired afternoon, but the locals should have won against their Junior 4 opponents.

McCready was denied by a breathtaking save in the first half and Gibson also went close, but the locals failed to twist the knife when it mattered most.

The defence was rarely troubled and stand-in goalkeeper, Philip Brown, did everything he was asked to do. He was not at fault for any of the goals and kept his nerve while some around him were losing theirs.

Portadown went into the break with a one-goal advantage and they doubled it in the second half when they caught Down with the sucker punch. The home side dragged play to the Down right hand side, creating a huge gap for their right-full back to charge forward, collect a pinpoint pass and score.

Down's exit sees them entered into the McClements Cup, but this will be no consolation. They need to go back to the drawing board and get confidence from somewhere, Otherwise, it's going to be an awful long season.