Down seconds missed out on a golden opportunity to put pressure on the chasing pack at the top of Junior 4 when they failed to overcome Portadown seconds at Malone Park.

Johnny Lennon's side dominated the game but couldn't find that elusive touch which would have led to a goal.

They pegged the visitor's in their own half for long periods and home goalkeeper, Johnny Briggs, had nothing to do all day but pick the ball out of the back of the net.

The home side fielded a strong line-up and the experienced back four of Lennon, Trevor McClurg, Trevor Love and Alasdair Duff, were on top for the entire match.

The only lapse came in the 45th minute when a forward was allowed to skip past three challenges on his way into the penalty area to score past Briggs.

Down were keen to maintain their recent run but hopes of picking maximum points came crashing down around them after Portadown took the lead.

Aiden Turner, who is home from university, almost grabbed an equaliser after great work by the home skipper, but the chance went begging. Duff also went close as did Philip Brown but as the game progressed it became clear it was just going to be one of those days.

Turner, Colin Gibson and Cliff Lennon pulled the strings in the middle of the park for the home side and gave as good as they got in what was a tough encounter against a very useful Portadown side.

The visitors' goalkeeper had only three kicked clearances to make during the 70 minutes, one of which came from a powerful shot by Cecil Telford.

Trailing by a single goal, Down threw caution to the wind in the closing stages, but they couldnt create an opening to pave the way for the equaliser.

Skipper Lennon was bitterly disappointed at the end and hopes his side can quickly get back to winning ways this weekend.