Buoyed by their win over Glebe last week Lurgan Celtic made the long journey to the north coast hoping to gain vital points at a ground where they have found Portstewart impossible to beat.
However, they produced a gritty performance to come out on top with striker Raymond Fitzpatrick getting the all important goal.
Celtic gave starts to new signings Dale Malone and Jonny Montgomery with Chris Coleman starting on the bench alongside John Campbell, Caolan Campbell and Michael Toland.
The new look Celtic side started on top from the kick off and within minutes captain Raymond Fitzpatrick sent a long range shot inches wide while seconds later Portstewart keeper Middleton scrambled another Celtic effort to safety and it was evident from the start this Celtic side had a steeley determination about them to concede no ground to the opposition. The breakthrough came on 10 minutes when Fitzpatrick took possession of the ball on the left and dribbled inside two defenders to fire an unstoppable shot into the net giving Celtic the lead.
The first half continued with the visitors totally in control and Malone was unlucky not to double the lead when his well struck shot hit the post and was cleared.
The second period began with Celtic still in control and looking the more dangerous side with Fitzpatrick and Conor Forker proving a real handful for Portstewart’s defence and as conditions deteriorated on the very heavy pitch it was Malone who impressed winning several crucial tackles as the home side tried to no avail to get into the game.
Several efforts were cleared by an overworked defence and the home keeper came to the rescue with several important saves to thwart Celtic’s attempts to kill the game off but it just wouldn’t come although the Hoops never looked like conceding themselves as they saw the game out.
This win puts Celtic up to 10th place in the league placings with 2014 starting well for the Hoops under the newly structured management team under Colin Malone and Dixie Robinson and with this being the first time this season they have won consecutive league games morale has been given a great boost at the club.
This week’s game is at hometo Sport and Leisure Swifts (2.00pm) who are in the lower regions themselves and is a massive opportunity for Celtic to consolidate their position in the league standings and with Conor Hagan and John Cochrane due back after injury the squad now has a stronger look and depth about it as they go on a quest to move up the table.
The Lurgan Celtic man of the match sponsored by McLeans Bookmakers was awarded to Dale Malone.