On Saturday 24th July, an Ards X1 travelled to play Donegal Celtic, currently in the Ballymena and District League, in a pre-season friendly game.
On a hot sunny afternoon Ards opened brightly and Ross Arthurs chased a through ball and despite a collision with the advancing goalkeeper managed to head the ball into the opposition net. Ards continued on the front foot and Reynolds continued his good form when he beat the offside trap and slotted past the keeper to make it 2-0. The goals kept coming and Kym Nelson finished a good move with a fine left foot strike from outside the box. The final goal of a rather one-sided first half came when new signing Conal McGrandles netted following a left wing corner.
Manager John Bailie took the opportunity to make a few changes in the second half so the entire panel got some game time. One thing that didn't change was the regular supply of goals from the visitors. Indeed three of the substitutes got on the score sheet and one of the trialists also had a goal disallowed.Salou Jallow was the first to score in the second half when he netted from close range following a move down the right wing. The crowd were then treated to the goal of the game when young Benji Magee scored from outside the box with a powerful shot to the roof of the net that left the home keeper motionless. The goals continued to flow in a game where Brian Neeson in the Ards goal had little to do, as McKee scored number seven. The travelling support wondered if the team could match the 8-0 win achieved against Albert Foundry and sure enough up popped Daniel Reynolds to score his second with a cool finish.
A good work-out for Ards with some good football and a high work rate on show in spite of unusually hot weather that necessitated water breaks half way through each half.
On the same day another Ards X1 beat Amateur League side Crumlin Star 2-1, with Darius Roohi scoring both goals.
Starting eleven : Neeson, Young, Crane, McGovern, Calderwood, McGrandles, Nelson, E. McAllister, Scannell, Reynolds, Arthurs.
Substitutes : Cafolla, Jallow, McKee, Magee, Trialist 1, Trialist 2.