Former Derry City and Ballymena United midfielder Evan Tweed's first half strike proved a worthy winner for the home team who moved to within two points of the Shamrock Park outfit with a game in hand and just five behind frontrunners Dundela who they'll meet on Saturday week.
Kevin Deery's charges have been a breath of fresh air in the league this term playing some attractive football with some terrific technical players but they had to show a different side of their game in the second half as they battened down the hatches to grind out a precious win.
Portadown were dominant in the second half without being able to break down a resolute 'Stute defence who clearly learned the lessons from the previous week's 4-1 loss against Welders where defending set pieces proved their Achilles heel.
The 'Stute boss was understandably delighted with the manner of the win.
"It's a very good win, especially coming off the back of a disappointing result last week," said Deery.
"I thought we controlled the first half and Portadown, having the players they have with the experience they have, they were always going to come at us in the second half.
"I think we defended really well and they didn't really create anything. It was a good, purposeful, defensive display.
"We won our duels and we could probably get a wee bit better at that, winning second balls and being a bit calmer but we have a young group of players and that will come with experience, someone will just put their foot on the ball.
"I thought Liam Mullen did really well when he came on with that side of things. He was competing the duels and slowing the game down when he landed on it. So all in all it's a brilliant three points."
The win will certainly send a message out to their rivals that ‘Stute intend on being in it for the long haul.
"Portadown are the favourites to win the league and I think they've won eight of their last nine so they were on a brilliant run coming here," added the Creggan man.
"I think it was since December 9th Dundela were the only team to turn them over. So it's a massive win for us.
"I thought all our players stepped up again and played with pride and honesty and there's a lot to be said for that. If we keep doing that week in and week out we'll do well."
It's six wins out of eight at home for 'Stute and five clean sheets which pleased the manager but they face two tough tests of their character with back-to-back away trips to Ballyclare Comrades and Dundela in the coming weeks.
"We've set our sights high but we'll not get carried away. We have two major tough games. We have Ballyclare and Dundela up next so you can't sit and think 'happy days we're in a good place' because it's tough games every week. We just have to show that commitment and drive to keep clean sheets but we'll get better.
"It's grass pitches at this time of the year now, so you're going to have to roll your sleeves up a bit this time of the year. Pitches won't be in great condition so we have to show that mentality and take our chances whenever they present themselves."
The win over the Ports will instil real confidence in the squad going forward.
"The run they've been on was excellent coming here. They have really experienced players where on the other hand we have young boys digging deep. It was a good match and thankfully we came out on the right end of the three points and we have to use this as a catapult to go and win the next game and go again."