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  • Writer's pictureStuart Dellow

Ards 0-1 Harland and Wolff Welders.

Ards failed to reach the semi final of the Country Antrim Shield as they succumbed to a 94th minute goal scored by Scott Davidson. The starting eleven showed changes from the Newry game, with McLellan, Armstrong and Calderwood making way for Cushnie, Taylor and E.McAllister.

Following their weekend defeat of Portadown, the Welders started brightly and for a while it seemed that Ards couldn't get enough possession to have any impact. However, after the initial ten minutes or so the home side gradually got into the game and although chances were few and far between, they held their own for the rest of a competitive and sometimes tetchy first half.

In the second half Ards had the benefit of the wind and were definitely looking the most likely to score. Several half chances came and went with the ball flashing across the Welders goal mouth somehow evading anyone in a red and blue shirt, or being scrambled away by a resilient and tough tackling Welders defence. In truth though, in spite of dominating possession Ards failed to create any gilt edged opportunities to break the deadlock, apparently lacking the composure and confidence needed to pick the right pass at the right time. The best chance of the second period was an Eamon McAllister free kick from just outside the box that almost broke the deadlock.

The game continued to be a physical one, sometimes overly so, as by the end of the game four Welders players found themselves with yellow cards and McMillen and Harris were also booked for the home side.

With a few minutes to go Ards had used all their subs and it was one of the new arrivals that had the best chance to open the scoring. In the last of the 90 minutes Craig McMilen put in another teasing cross, Michael McLellan got his head to it and his effort beat the keeper but bounced back into play off the crossbar. Ards fans were reconciled to extra time but the Welders broke away and Neeson seemed to have preserved parity with a diving save, only for Scott Davidson to flick the resultant corner home in the fourth minute of injury time, to cue wild celebrations from his team mates.

A cruel blow for Ards who put on a better performance than against Newry but again the failure to create and take chances was their undoing.

Team : Nelson, McMillan, Taylor, McGovern, Nelson. E. McAllister, Murray, Harris, Wilson. McMillen, Cushnie.

Subs used : McLellan, Calderwood and McConnell.

Sub not used : Wynne.

Referee : Tony Clarke.

1st Assistant : Mark O'Brien.

2nd Assistant : Rachel Greer.

4th Official : Chris Morrison.

Stuart Dellow.

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