ARDS 2 V 0 DUNDELA - LOUGHSHORE CHAMPIONSHIP
After a disappointing draw away to Dergview last weekend, Ards welcomed Dundela, a team containing many former Ards players and an ex Ards manager - Colin Nixon - leading them from the touchline. The away side came in to the match looking to change their form as, so far this season, they have been unconvincing and are bottom of the league.
Dundela had the better start to the game, when Owain Beggs beat Jamie McGovern to give himself a one on one opportunity, but Neeson denied the striker an early goal.
Against the run of play in the nineteenth minute, the home side took the lead when Craig McMillen’s through ball found Patrick Cafolla who passed to Kym Nelson and his close-range strike opened the scoring continuing his promising start to the season.
Only 4 minutes later the travelling side arguably could have been awarded a penalty when there was a a foul in the box, but referee Louise Thompson waved off the appeals with replays later showing that it was just outside the penalty area .
Beggs then had his strike from distance saved as the away side continued to press for an equaliser. As half time approached a well-timed pass from Conall Young found Calvin McCurry whose strike was on target, but easily saved by keeper Matthews.
But Ards were'nt to be denied as they doubled their lead when the experienced McMillen regained possession following a tussle by the corner flag with his cross eventually providing McCurry with a good chance. However his strike was saved with the rebound falling to Ross Arthurs who made no mistake making it 2-0
In the opening stages of the second half, Jordan Hughes was through on goal but his strong effort was saved by Neeson whilst Ards old boy William Faulkner then couldn’t keep his attempt on target as, as was the case in the first half, Dundela dominated early on.
Then a strike from another ex-Ards player, substitute Eoghan McCawl, caused problems in the Ards box but the chance was saved by Neeson. Entering the final quarter of the match McMillen’s low free kick proved to be no danger to the away side’s keeper , But as tensions started to rise in which inevitably was going to be a feisty game, home fans were left in shock after no action was taken against Dundela’s Owens who forcefully used his head in a clash following a tackle versus Nelson. Seconds later there was another brawl with the referee again taking little action.
Substitute Daniel Reynolds had a one on one chance minutes later after a flick on from Arthurs but he hurried his effort and ended up hitting straight at keeper Matthews to the relief of the away bench. Seconds later Ross Arthur’s superb effort from just outside the area struck the crossbar, with Reynolds’ resulting header just too high.
With 5 minute remaining Kyle Calderwood kept the game at 2-0 after his acrobatic clearance off the line denied Owens a goal, the same player was off target with his follow-up strike.
Dundela pushed during the lengthy injury time but lacked penetration up front meaning the game ended 2-0, with home debutant Ruairi O’Hare picking up Man Of The Match.
So Ards return to winning ways and are now two points off the top of the league after Newry’s 100% winning record was halted by Ballinamallard who beat them 3-0 at the Newry Showgrounds.
Things went from bad to worse for the away side’s boss, Colin Nixon, when he was relieved of his duties after the game after picking up only one point so far this season with the Duns remaining at the foot of the table.
Next up for Ards is a League Cup clash against Dollingstown on Wednesday evening
Ards: Neeson, Young, McGovern, McMillen, Nelson, Arthurs, O'Hare, Crane, Cafolla, Murray, McCurry
Used Subs: McGrandles, O'Kane, Calderwood, Reynolds, Jallow.
Unused Subs: Scannell and Carry.
Bookings - Young, Nelson and Murray.