Portadown striker Matthew Tipton joins Linfield

Portadown's top scorer Matthew Tipton has signed a two-year contract with Premiership champions Linfield.

Former Macclesfield player Tipton's move was confirmed by Linfield boss David Jeffrey on Wednesday.

"Matthew is an experienced footballer who has done tremendously well at Portadown," said Jeffrey.

Tipton scored a hat-trick last Saturday as the Ports beat Cliftonville 3-2 to finish runners-up in the Irish Premiership table.

At the weekend Blues boss Jeffrey revealed that the champions had sought permission to approach Portadown's 25-goal striker.

"We spoke to Matthew on Tuesday night and, subject to a medical, he will be joining us on a two-year contract," added the Linfield manager.

"The negotiations were smooth and easy, although we would have perferred to have had everything done and dusted before officially announcing it.

"We were impressed with his desire to join us and to win trophies."

The loss of Tipton is a blow to Ports boss Ronnie McFall as he prepares for the Europa League and next season's Premiership.

For much of the last campaign Portadown had looked Linfield's most serious title rivals and they briefly hit the top of the table in January.

However, McFall's men could not sustain the challenge and ended 14 points behind runaway champions Linfield.