• Michael Barritt

Ards 'reInstitute' Winning Ways With Dominant Display

NIFL Championship – 27/11/21

Ards kicked off a run of four straight away matches with the long trip to the Brandywell on the back of a run that has saw them pick up just one point out of a possible fifteen. Without home support until after Christmas the next period could be very telling in the title race. You have to go all the way back to September for the last time Institute got a victory, beating Queens 1-0, with their win prior to that being Ards in a tie that saw us throw it away in injury time having been comfortable throughout.

While Ards recent run is better on paper than the opponents, and with seven places separating the sides in the table going into the game, logic places Ards as favourites but reality tells a different story.

With suspensions rife in the Ards squad, several changes were made to the starting line up from the team that lost to Dergview last week. Ruiari O’Hare and Eamon Scannell were suspended, Conal Young was recalled at right back, Sam Dinu replaced Crane at left back and DD McAllister made his first competitive start for more than 18 months. Daniel Reynolds came in with the task of lone striker with Arthurs and McCurry on the bench.

For the first 30 minutes of todays game, I could have copied and pasted any number of recent

reports to cover how the game started. Ards were dominant, making chance after chance, being particularly dangerous down the left flank, but chance after chance went begging. The travelling support could be forgiven for thinking “not another week”. Thankfully those first 30 minutes are where the comparisons would have ended. Ards dominated from start to finish, and finally produced an end product that eventually saw John Bailies’ men claim a very well deserved 3-0 victory and a very welcome three points making the long journey home that much more enjoyable.

No doubt Ards fans were delighted to see DD McAllister’s name on the starting line up after such a long absence. It was like a new signing coming into the team, and you could see glimpses early on of what we had recently been missing. Within the first 10 minutes DD had put in two very dangerous crosses from the left, the first fell to Jallow whose fine strike was blocked when an Institute defender threw himself in the line of fire, the second fell to Nelson whose first touch took him away from goal and he couldn’t recover to make anything of the move. The deadlock was broken on 30’ with TJ Murray finding the back of the net with a well hit strike. DD’s corner from the right was met byFerrin whose initial effort was blocked by an Institute defender, the second ball broke to TJ in the 18- yard box, and he made no mistake, much to the relief of the travelling supporters, coaching staff, and players.