• Jana McCabe

Ballinamallard 2 v 2 Ards

After a disappointing defeat at home to PSNI last week, Ards looked to bounce back with a trip to Ballinamallard. Ben Cushnie led the attack, Craig McMillen returned to the starting eleven and Salou Jallow made his first start, while David McAllister remained injured. The home side had most of the early pressure and opened the scoring in the fifteenth minute when Ryan Campbell’s pass from the left wing found Sean McEvoy who easily slid the ball in to the back of the net to make it 1-0. Ards gradually came into the game and nearly equalised close to the break when Salou Jallow’s strike from the edge of the box was goal bound. However keeper Connolly was able to get a touch on the ball to deny the chance, so in spite if an improved performance Ards ended the first half in arrears. Ards were the better team in the second half although Ryan Mayse nearly doubled the Mallards’ lead when his shot looked in but slipped just wide of the right hand post. Then great work from Craig McMillen couldn’t be finished by striker Ben Cushnie when he failed to connect with the well-timed pass. Substitute John Edgar then had his close range attempt denied by Brian Neeson in the seventy second minute. In the seventy fifth minute Ards deservedly equalised when Michael McLellan’s strike deflected off defender Matthew Smyth and beat keeper Connolly to make it 1-1. Salou Jallow’s run and shot was just wide of the left hand post as Ards pushed for a winner. In the seventy ninth minute McMillen’s corner found the busy Jallow but again his strike was just off target. In the eighty first minute Ards captain Johnny Taylor conceded a penalty with a mis-timed tackle, to the anger of the away side’s players and supporters who believed it was a harsh call. Jason McCartney took the spot kick with his strike finding the top left hand corner of the net, 2-1. Then, in a dramatic finish, after good build up from McAllister and McMillan, Armstrong’s pass was nodded in by McLellan to make it 2-2, much to the delight of the travelling fans. Honours even at Ballinamallard means the home side stay second while Ards remain sixth in the table. Next up is Harland & Wolff Welders on Tuesday night at the Bangor Fuels Arena. Neeson, McMillan, McGovern, Taylor, Armstrong, Murray, Nelson, McMillen, Jallow, Cushnie and E McAllister. Substitutes- Calderwood, McConnell & McLellan Unused substitutes- D Wilson and Dalzell Yellow cards- McGovern, McMillen, Nelson, Taylor and Armstrong

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