With seven points separating Ards and today’s opponents Warrenpoint, a victory for the home side was crucial to stop Ards falling further behind. Mark Kelly, Johnny Taylor and Kyle Cherry were replaced by Michael McLellan, Adam McAleenan and Josh Kelly in the starting eleven from last Saturday.
Warrenpoint’s first chance came in the fourth minute when Alan O’Sullivan’s strike was wide of the left hand post. In the fourteenth minute David McAllister’s lovely pass after a scramble found Josh Kelly but his shot from the edge of the box was blocked.
In the twenty second minute Phillip Donnelly’s shot from distance was palmed away by Ards stopper Sam Johnston. On the half hour mark a misunderstanding in the Ards defence gave O’Sullivan a great opportunity but he could not take advantage of the empty net.
In the thirty eighth minute Kym Nelson’s freekick was tipped over by Warrenpoint keeper Aaron McCarey. Busy O’Sullivan’s well timed pass nearly connected with Phillip Donnelly but his sliding attempt to convert the cross just failed and the half ended 0-0.
In the opening minute of the second half Nelson’s header was cleared off the line by Conall McGrandles as Ards looked for an early second half goal.
In the fiftieth minute Ards opened the scoring when a corner from Gareth Tommons was cleared by the Warrenpoint defence but fell to Jonny Frazer who passed to Michael McLellan. Then McLellan did well to stay onside and slotted the ball into the bottom left corner to make it 1-0 despite the appeals of the Warrenpoint players who claimed it was offside.
However, it took the away side only sixty seconds to level the game when Eamon Scannell’s powerful strike from just outside the penalty area found the right hand side of the goal to make it 1-1.
Goalscorer Scannell nearly got his second when his shot from the left wing was well saved by Sam Johnston. Scannell was in action again when his corner resulted in a scramble off the line as Warrenpoint looked to take all three points.
McAllister’s shot from distance was well saved by Aaron McCarey in the seventy second minute. Good teamwork between Sam Johnston and Callum Byers was crucial when they blocked and cleared Scannell’s shot off the line in the seventy fifth minute.
In the seventy ninth minute Francis McCaffrey’s pass to Ciaran O’Connor gave him a great opportunity however, his header was off target with the Warrenpoint fans celebrating thinking they’d scored the winner. In the eighty first minute, Tommons’ corner saw a volley from Byers well saved by the Warrenpoint stopper.
In the eighty eighth minute a one two between Nelson and substitute Ryan Strain saw Nelson’s shot blocked by Emmet Hughes. In the three minutes of injury time Phillip Donnelly’s corner was well saved by Johnston with the game ending 1-1 and Kym Nelson picking up Man Of The Match.
So the points were shared at the Bangor Fuels Arena with Ards falling three points adrift at the foot of the table. Next week Ards face Coleraine at the Showgrounds.
Match Sponsor Perry Donaldson picked Kym Nelson as Man Of The Match and presented him with his award after the game.
Starting 11: Sam Johnston, Callum Byers, Craig McClean, Adam McAleenan , Michael Kerr, Jonny Frazer, Gareth Tommons, Josh Kelly , Kym Nelson, David McAllister and Mark Kelly.
Used substitutes: Eamon McAllister(for Jonny Frazer), Kyle Cherry(for Josh Kelly) and Ryan Strain (for Michael McLellan).
Unused substitutes: Jason Mooney, David Elebert, Jonah Mitchell and Scott McArthur.
Yellow cards: Kym Nelson