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  • Jana McCabe

Ards 3 - Newry 1

Updated: Feb 25, 2019

By Jana McCabe

Ards faced fellow relegation rivals Newry City with new manager Warren Feeney in charge in a match where three points were crucial. Johnny Taylor led the team out in front of a hopeful, increased home support.

In the seventh minute Craig McClean’s pass found Michael McLellan but he was unable to control the fast paced ball. Two minutes later in the ninth minute, Eamon McAllister’s strike from outside the box was just over the bar.

In the tenth minute Newry had their first chance when Ger Pender’s strong shot was well saved by Sam Johnston. John Boyle made a crucial interception when Mark Kelly had a great close range opportunity in the twelfth minute. Then a well-timed Michael Kerr header cleared a dangerous corner from Newry captain Mark Hughes to deny Newry a good chance.

After a free kick, Boyle’s header was well saved by Sam Johnston in the eighteenth minute before, in the twenty first minute, Kerr’s right wing cross into the box gave McLellan a great opportunity but he couldn’t control the ball.

In the twenty sixth minute Ards took the lead when a beautiful ball from Eamon McAllister found the head of Mark Kelly and then the back of the net to make it 1-0.

It didn’t take long for Ards to get their second when, three minutes later, a misjudgment by Noel Healy gave Ards a corner. Josh Kelly’s corner was powerfully headed home by Damien McNulty. 2-0 to the home side!

In first half additional time Newry substitute Stephen Hughes’ strike from the edge of the box was well saved by Sam Johnston with the half ending 2-0.

In the opening minutes of the second half Mark Kelly cooly slid the ball into the back of the net, but his shot was ruled out for offside. Ards could have made it three when Josh Kelly’s run gave him a great opportunity but his close range strike was off target.

The away side pulled a goal back when Darren King’s pass found Ger Pender’s with his strong header finding the bottom corner of the Ards net to make it 2-1.

Josh Kelly’s pass to Eamon McAllister saw his strike cleared by John Boyle in the sixty third minute before, a minute later, Ards scored their third when a skilful cross from David McAllister gave Mark Kelly a great opportunity and his resulting header found the back of the net. 3-1!

A very similar set up to the third goal nearly resulted in a fourth for Ards when McAllister and Kelly paired up again but this time the ball trickled past the right hand post. In the seventy fourth minute Pender’s shot from outside the box failed to find the target as the visitors tried to find a way back in to the game.

In injury time Newry continued to press with Mark McCabe’s close range shot making Sam Johnston produce a fine save and Hughes’ strike making eventual Man Of The Match Kym Nelson produce a crucial block. The game finished 3-1 seconds later.

A successful first game for Warren Feeney saw his side walk away with three points and move off the foot of the table. Ards’ next game sees them travel to The Oval on the ninth of March to face ninth-placed Glentoran.

Starting XI: Sam Johnston, Michael Kerr, Craig McClean, Johnny Taylor, Damien McNulty, Josh Kelly, Eamon McAllister, Gareth Tommons, Kym Nelson, Mark Kelly and Michael

Used Subs: David McAllister (for Michael McLellan) and Jonathan Smith (for Mark Kelly).

Unused Subs: Matthew Davidson, Kyle Cherry, Adam McAleenan, Brendan Bennett and Eoghan McCawl.

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