• Michael Barritt

7 IN A ROW FOR U18s

Our Under 18s made in 7 wins in their last 7 games with a 2-0 victory away at Institute at Melvin Sports Complex on Friday evening. Again traveling away from home Ards faced an unbeaten Institute side sitting 3rd in the table. 

In a first half filled with Institute retaining possession very well, they didn’t test Ards keeper Jamie Moody with only strikes from distance that were easily gathered by the shot stopper. Ards frustrated stute in the early stages of the game and looked lively at the front end of the pitch with the in form Hollywood hitting the side netting. That same player broke the deadlock on the 30 minute mark, stepping up to hit a free kick, he curled it round the wall and into the bottom corner putting Ards into the lead. A first half injury to Kelvin Brownlee led to a change of shape for the latter stages of the first half that saw Ards gain some control of the game with Watson and MacDonald having half chances. 

Half Time

Institute 0-1 Ards

The players came out the second half with the wind on their side, Institute however started the half stronger, their constant pressure and certain directness gave defenders McGirr, Macrory, Keenan and Johnston plenty of work that to their credit they dealt with fairly well. Ards then had a spell of dominance that seen Hollywood go close once more with another free kick that cannoned off the bar, the best chance falling to Jonny Murray however from a Nathan Johnston corner, only for the forward to see his effort well saved by the stute keeper. Ards defended resolutely in the second half as Institute piled men forward in search of that equaliser. The game remained open with Ards continuing to create proper chances, the doubled their lead with 15 minutes to go, Hollywood set free down the right hand side, he crossed for Marc McCann who bundled home grabbing his second goal off the season. Substitutes Ben Young and James Armstrong added some much needed fresh legs as the tireless workrate of our players began to show, Institutes directness came more evident late on as Moody came of age to gather some dangerous high balls into the box, Finlay Kennan a warrior in defence on the evening, a back injury picked up in the first half, he along with his teammates managed the game as it ended 2-0. That win puts Ards third in the NIFL Academy League, their next game will be at home to Crusaders on Friday evening. 

Full Time

Institute 0-2 Ards

Goalscorers 

Karl Hollywood 

Marc McCann

Man Of The Match 

Finlay Keenan

Starting XI - Moody (GK), McGirr, Macrory (C), Keenan, Johnston, Martin, Watson, McCann, Brownlee, MacDonald, Hollywood

Substitutes - Armstrong, Murray, Young 

Managers Words “It seems like forever since we had a game at home, however travelling back down the road from Institute with 3 points and a pleasing performance certainly makes up for it. Weekly the boys effort is and has been fantastic, they are such an honest group that will work and won’t stop. They were relentless off the ball and did their upmost to reclaim it back as soon as possible, they hunted in packs this evening when they needed to, they kept compact and hard to break down when they needed it. Considering our group from U16 hasn’t changed much from last year, one thing that is evident to us as coaches is how our shape and defensive work has improved massively, individually and collectively! When we get the ball they have total freedom to pick and chose on the pitch, all we ask is to provide support in attack. Institute unbeaten until this evening and it’s clear to see why, they play some great football, not many teams will take points from them this season at Melvin.”