• Jana McCabe

Ards 2 v 4 Portadown

After crashing out of the League Cup on Tuesday evening, Ards looked to bounce back with a league victory. Friday's opponents were Portadown who, after a successful season last year when they finished 3rd, looked to go at least one better this year. It didn’t take the home side long to open the scoring when, in the fifth minute, a lovely ball from David McAllister was met by a skilful strike by Craig McMillen which found the back of the net to make it 1-0.

McAllister was in action again when his shot was deflected with the deflection falling to Michael McLellan, but he was unable to take advantage of the chance with his shot being saved by the Portadown keeper.  George Tipton’s strike from close range made Neeson pull off his first save of the night in the eleventh minute. Then, Calderwood’s shot from range was saved as both sides pressed.

However the home side didn’t have to wait long to get their second when in the thirtieth minute again great work between McAllister and McMillen saw McMillen’s volley finding the back of the net to make it 2-0! Tipton was in action again when his run and eventual strike was saved by Neeson as the half ended 2-0.

Less than a minute into the second half Portadown got one back when Conall McGrandle’s volley from range beat the Ards stopper, 2-1.  The away side then scored their second when McGrandle’s freekick found the top left corner to make it 2-2.

Then Tipton missed a clear chance for the away side to take the lead when he missed an open goal in the sixty third minute. McMillen nearly got his hat tick when his run and strike looked promising but his shot was saved by the Portadown keeper.  The resulting goal kick led to Portadown's third goal as they took the lead when the counter attack was bundled in to make it 2-3.   The Ards fans were left in shock in the eighty sixth minute when Ards had multiple chances to level the game but every chance was blocked or saved.  The game looked destined to end 2-3 but, with the last kick of the game, Ryan Carmichael’s strike inside the box beat Neeson to make it 2-4, with the game ending seconds later.

A disappointing result for Ards as they fall to a 4-2 defeat even though they led 2-0 at half time. Next up for Ards is an away trip to Dergview on Saturday.