• Michael Barritt

10-man Ards ducks out with hard-earned point

Ballinamallard 1 Ards 1

NIFL Championship – 04/12/21

Ards continued their run of four away fixtures in a row with a 180-mile round trip to Ferny Park to take on Ballinamallard United. The Mallards sit just one point behind Ards in the league and will be looking for revenge after being well beaten 3-1 in the reverse fixture back in October. This tie tends to be a tight game but following Ards excellent performance last week there was genuine optimism today and confidence was high going in.

Ards fielded the same eleven today that done so well in last week’s victory against Institute, the only changes being on the bench with McGrandles and Scannell coming in and Glover and McCurry missing out.

Just as the game kicked off the heavens opened making for difficult conditions, with several playerson both sides losing their footing at key moments contributing to some of the more

controversial moments of the game, including a slip for TJ Murray that resulted in a second yellow and ultimately a red card that saw Ards play the last 30 minutes of the game with 10 men. I rarely mention theo fficials after the games, rather focusing on the players, but in games like today it’s very hard to skip over such a poor performance. We all know it’s a tough job, but some level of consistency should be the least we can expect from the man in the middle.

A well taken goal in each half, a contentious penalty, a red card, and a courageous defensive display sums up the 90 minutes with both teams probably being happy enough to take a point at the final whistle. Ards edged the first half scoring a great goal and seeing Bam make a fantastic save of a very dubiously awarded penalty. DD carried on with his impressive scoring form grabbing his second goal in two games on 18’ to give Ards a deserved lead. A composed finish inside the 18-yard box following excellent play from Jallow down the Ards right. The right-sided winger beat his man with ease and drove into the box before hitting a hard and low cross into the box finding the left-sided winger McAllister whose first-time effort gave Brown in the Mallards goal no chance.

DD Turns away in celebration after opening the scoring.<