Coleraine vs Ards. Match report.
Ards played against the wind and rain in the first half, on a heavy pitch that had been re-turfed in the goalmouth areas, not very well as Sam Johnston pointed out to the fans behind the goals!
Coleraine supplied the early pressure and forced a number of corners but the only real danger was when McCauley hit the post on eight minutes.
Ten minuted later and Johns in the home goal made a great save from a Michael McLellan free kick. The resultant corner led to a Coleraine break away and Lowry really should have scored at the far post. Coleraine pressure continued and half chances were missed by McGonigle and Carson, who also missed an opportunity to open the scoring after a poor kick by Johnston. Sam then redeemed himself with a good save to thwart the lively McCauley.
Ards did have a few chances of their own, firstly when Mitchell won the ball in midfield but the final pass was just too long and then Cherry gained possession and found David McAllister who put a strong shot just wide of the far post. Just before the half ended Cherry had a good strike which was deflected for a corner.
Hopes that with the wind behind them in the second half Ards might take over were dashed when weather conditions improved. To add to that frustration Coleraine opened the scoring in the 53rd minute when a left wing corner was headed back across goal by McConaghie and McGonigle nodded in at the near post.
Colin Nixon brought on all three subs in quick succession in an effort to get something out of the game and Mark Kelly nearly connected with a long ball that just got away from him. Fellow sub Scott McArthur forced Johns to make a couple of saves but both were in the routine category. Ards battled hard without success and in fact the only other goal threat was when Sam Johnston made a good near post save with a few minutes to go. The match ended like a few others this season with a single goal deficit for Ards.
Team :- Johnston, Kerr, McAleenan, Byers, McClean. E.McAllister, Mitchell, Cherry, Tommons, D.McAllister. McLellan.
Subs :- Josh Kelly for McClean - 62 minutes.
Mark Kelly for Mitchell - 64 minutes.
McArthur for E.McAllister - 69 minutes.
Subs not used :- Mooney, Strain, McKenna.
Yellow cards - Tommons and Byers, both for fouls.