Release Date: Oct 09, 2011
MATTHEW Tipton believes that Portadown can mount a serious challenge for the Carling Premiership title this season.
Portadown have already seen off Gibson Cup holders Linfield with a 2-0 win at Shamrock Park last month and remain level on points with them at the top of the table.
The hot-shot striker, who has found the net 12 times already this season, was recently crowned Carling Football Writers' Player of the Month for September.
"I think the award is a fair reflection on the team's performance so far this season," Tipton said.
"I got seven goals in September – I don't think I've ever done that before – so it's been a good month for me personally as well.
"We've played all the teams now this season and we're at the top so that says it all.
"Maybe after the first two or three games, people can say it's a ‘flash in the pan' but we've proved we deserve to be at the top on merit.
"We didn't end the last season well but we knew if we went away this summer and worked hard, we could hit the ground running.
"When I came in in January, it was half way through the season and Ronnie needed to bed us in.
"We didn't really have any wide players to play the 4-4-2 system that we wanted. Jamie Tomelty joined this summer and now we have that natural wide player which is a massive help."
After guiding the Ports to wins over the champions, Glentoran and Crusaders this month, his manager Ronnie McFall made it a Portadown double with September's Manager of the Month award.
The Welshman made the move to Shamrock Park from Dundalk in January and McFall was one of the reasons the striker chose to join Portadown.
"It's a club that clearly backs it manager and one that wouldn't have panicked had we got off to a bad start.
"He has the experience of winning titles and trophies over the year, and you can look to Ronnie in any situation and know that he's been there before".
September's Goal of the Month went, unsurprisingly, to Coleraine's Johnny Black for his tremendous effort from his own half against Portadown.
By Alex Gulrajani