Ards 0 v 3 Newry
Updated: Aug 26, 2019
Without the injured duo of Kym Nelson and David McAllister, Warren Feeney handed a debut to Craig Harris who was signed earlier this week and gave a starting spot to Dylan Wilson who came on as a sub in Tuesday's win over the Welders.
However a surprisingly lethargic performance from the home side meant that Newry City took all three points with a well deserved win. Apart from a brief spell at the start of the second half Ards struggled to make an impact against a well drilled outfit and to compound their misery Jerry Thompson who made his competitive debut when he replaced Craig Harris early in the second half was sent off with 15 minutes to go for dissent.
The game started badly for the home side when Mark Hughes picked the ball up just inside the Ards half and drifted past at least three opponents before putting the ball in the top corner in the third minute. There was little sign of an Ards equaliser, indeed it took a good save from Neeson diving to his right to prevent a 20 yard free kick providing a second goal for the visitors. The only real threat from Ards during the first half was when the industrious Craig McMillen was fouled and Armstrong sent the free into the grateful arms of Coleman. Mark McCabe had a great chance to double Newry's lead when a four on two breakaway attack led to his final shot going over the bar when he should have done better.
Early in the second half Coleman did have to make a couple of decent saves to preserve his side's lead, one in particular from a Michael McLellan header was an excellent stop. However in spite of the initial hopes of an equaliser it wasn't long until Newry doubled their lead. A corner to the far post was headed back across the goal and Neeson could only touch the ball onto the bar where it fell nicely for Duffy to tap the ball in at the near post in the 53rd minute. The second half was proving more open than the first and Dylan Wilson broke through for Ards but failed to get a shot away as he was crowded out by a chasing defender and the keeper.
Any chance of Ards making a comeback was lost in the 75th minute when Jerry Thompson reacted vociferously to a decision by the officials and seemed to verbally abuse both the referee and his assistant, earning a straight red card. As Ards did push for a goal, Newry should have added to their total in another breakaway attack but fortunately for the home side they over-elaborated and the opportunity was spurned. As frustration set in Craig McMillen was booked for a challenge on a Newry defender who didn't help Craig's cause with his dramatic reaction to the tackle.
Then to rub salt into the wounds Newry did score a third in injury time when a quickly taken free kick caught Ards on the hop and a ball across the box was swept home by Adam Foley, giving Neeson no chance.
A thoroughly disappointing day for home fans and with games against Ballinamallard and Portadown up next an improvement will be required to get the promotion challenge up and running.
Team :- Neeson, McMillan, McGovern, Taylor, Armstrong. E. McAllister, Murray, McMillen, Harris, D.Wilson, McLellan.
Substitutes :- Thompson for Harris, Calderwood for E.McAllister and S.Wilson for McMillan.
Substitutes not used :- Fox and Higginson.