• Michael Barritt

Ards 1 v 1 Knockbreda

NIFL Championship – 27/12/21

Another Knock back for Ards in a Frustrating Festive Football Fixture

Ards finally returned to Clandeboye Park following 4 games on the road welcoming Knockbreda for a festive football feast on Boxing Day (+1). Being one of the most anticipated fixtures of the season we

had a great crowd turn up to support John Bailies men hoping to extend the Xmas revelries that little bit longer.

There were two changes to the line-up from the last outing away to Ballyclare with Ferrin and

Calderwood replaced by the returning McGovern and Young. At one stage in the fixtures today Ards were sitting comfortably in 2nd in the table but eventually finished the day where they started in 5th place as Knockbreda pegged them back late on to grab a 1-1 draw. Further evidence, if it were needed, of just how tight it is in the top half of the Championship as only 3 points separates 2nd to 6th . The sides traded goals in each half with Ards again in full control

of a Championship game but failing to make that domination count and once again find themselves being punished.

Ards looked on it right from the start and had a great chance to grab an early lead with Scannell’s looping header testing Deane in the Knockbreda goal. The keeper was equal to it producing a decent save high to his right, a positive opening from the home side that increased the fans optimism early on. Ards had another fantastic opportunity shortly after, McCurry this time linking up well with Arthurs and making himself a bit of space in the box, tried to bend an effort towards the far post. There was just a bit too much on it and it ended up going just wide of the mark.

McCurry wasn’t to be denied for much longer however as he opened the scoring for Ards on 11’, a brilliant touch to take the ball out of the air, a superb turn and a similarly great strike right across the box and keeper that smashed off the post and into the net. An Ards short corner, taken by Cafolla, laid off to Young whose cross ricocheted off the onrushing Breda defender and fell kindly for McCurry who did the rest. Just what Ards deserved after a bright opening 10 mins;