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  • Writer's pictureStuart Dellow

Ards Pass Queen's Test


It was a much changed Ards side that faced the students in this first round County Antrim Senior Shield tie. There were nine personnel changes from Saturday's starting eleven with only Max Greer and captain Michael Ruddy retaining their places, although Ruddy was moved to left back to accommodate the central defensive pairing of Gorman and Hamill. The changes meant full competitive debuts for defender Matt Gorman and flying winger Max Miller. The fans who had expressed a wish to see wingers deployed more often certainly got their wish as there seemed to be more wingers on display than there were wings for them to occupy!

However the team started brightly and opened the scoring through Dee Dee McAllister in the third minute, it wasn't the cleanest of strikes but it found it's way to the back of the net via the far post, giving Ards the lead they deserved after a positive start. Thereafter the game became a bit bogged down with few clear chances for either side, until Conor Scannell lofted a back pass that put Neil Shields under pressure and Stewart Nixon nipped in for the easiest goal he will get this season to put the visitors back on level terms. Ards did have a couple of headed chances that could have restored their lead but the nearest they came to scoring was when they hit the post just before the half time whistle.

There were no changes at half time and little change in the pattern of play, although the students were looking a bit more confident, the deciding factor was the introduction of Taggart, Steele and Eamon Scannell just after the hour mark and these three set about exerting some influence on the game. Ards certainly looked more positive and had more of a grip in midfield, they thought they had regained the lead when Eamon Scannell hit a low shot into the corner of McCooe's net but the goal was disallowed for offside earlier in the move, much to the surprise of Ards fans. On this occasion I would have to agree with the referee's assistant as I was in line and it did look offside to me. However Ards weren't to be denied and Salou Jallow clinched the win when he advanced down the left and coolly beat the keeper, putting the ball neatly inside the far post. Shortly afterwards Jallow was replaced by Connor Maxwell as Ards looked to see the game out. James McLaughlin who was having a quiet game did have a chance to extend the lead but his effort was saved just before Callum Dougan came on for him in the 87th minute. Dougan looked lively and had time to register a shot on target before referee Evan Boyce blew the final whistle after five minutes of time added on.

Ards now await the draw for the quarter finals which is scheduled for Saturday 9th September at 5 o'clock and can be seen live on the County Antrim F.A Facebook page. The quarter final ties are scheduled for Tuesday October 10th.

Starting eleven :- Neil Shields, Max Greer, Matthew Gorman, Karl Hamill, Michael Ruddy [capt], Max Miller, Salou Jallow, David McAllister, Conor Scannell, Jamal Dupree, James McLaughlin.

Substitutes used :- Ethan Taggart, Aidan Steele and Eamon Scannell replaced David McAllister, Jamal Dupree and Conor Scannell. [62 minutes]

Connor Maxwell replaced Salou Jallow [80 minutes]

Callum Dougan replaced James McLaughlin [87 minutes]

Substitutes unused :- Alex Moore, Luke Ritchie.

Match Officials :-

Referee :- Evan Boyce.

1st Assistant :- Bogdan Sfirloaga.

2nd Assistant :- Shane Geary.

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