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  • Jana McCabe

Ballinamallard 1 : 1 Ards

After a disappointing defeat to Newry FC last week, Ards looked to bounce back in this away clash versus Ballinamallard. The Mallards, who went in to the game with three points on the table, currently lie tenth in the Championship after three games. 

The home side dominated the early stages of the game, with Ryan O’Reilly’s header just wide of the left hand post in the second minute. Then Christopher Kelly’s strike was well saved by the Ards stopper Brian Neeson. 

However the away side opened the scoring when they were awarded a penalty. Craig McMillen stood up to take the penalty but his spot kick was saved, however, he was able to knock in the rebound. 0-1 in the twenty second minute. 

The away side nearly doubled their lead when David McAllister had a great opportunity, however, his weak shot was saved by the Mallards keeper Connolly.

In the thirty seventh minute Matthew Smyth’s header pinged off the bar to the disappointment of the Mallards’ supporters. Minutes later Smyth’s strike could only find the side netting as the half finished with the score remaining 0-1.

The Mallards started the half as the better team with both Nathan Cashel’s and Duwayne McManus’ shots saved by Neeson. In the seventy first minute good team work between the McAllister brothers resulted in Eamon’s shot being denied by the Mallards stopper. 

The away supporters thought that their side had doubled their lead when a lovely pass from McMillen connected with Eamon McAllister’s head with his header finding the back of the net. However the winger was offside and the goal was ruled out in the seventy fifth minute. 

In the eightieth minute David McAllister’s strike from range was well saved by John Connolly. Scott McMillan then made a crucial clearance off the line when Ryan Morris’ strike caused panic in the Ards defence. 

David McAllister’s run and strike was then denied by Connolly as both sides continued to push for the important next goal. Then Eamon McAllister’s shot from a TJ Murray pass was also denied by the Mallards stopper as it looked like the game was ending. 

However in the last minute the home side were awarded a corner with Christopher Kelly’s resulting header finding the back of the net to level the game, 1-1 at full time. 

So a last minute goal robs Ards of two points. Ards now lie joint third in the table with seven points going into the fifth round of fixtures in the 2019/20 Championship season.

Starting eleven:- Neeson: McMillan, Taylor, McGovern, Calderwood, Armstrong: Murray, E.McAllister, Harris, D.McAllister: McMillen.

Subs :- Higginson for Taylor. 

            Feeney for Higginson. 

Subs not used :- Fox, Shearer, S.Wilson.

Yellow cards :- McGovern, Murray, McMillan, Calderwood. 

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