By Jana McCabe
Tough times at Ards has seen them fall to the bottom of the table five points adrift. One change from Boxing Day’s starting eleven saw striker Michael McLellan replaced by Mark Kelly.
In the first minute of play a volley from the Swifts’ Daniel Hughes, following a Kris Lowe pass, was wide of the right hand post. Kyle Cherry’s strong shot from the edge of box was saved in the sixth minute. In the eighth minute skilful play from Eamon McAllister presented Mark Kelly with a good opportunity with his shot making Dungannon ‘keeper Alex Moore produce a great block.
In the tenth minute Ards scored the opener when McAllister’s trickery and powerful strike made Moore fumble and drop the ball into the back of his own net. 0-1!
In the seventeenth minute Adam McAleenan made a crucial clearance off the line after a corner from Hughes tested Johnston. In the twenty third minute Cherry’s volley was blocked as Ards looked for a second.
In the thirty seventh minute the Swifts came close to equalising when a Hughes shot from outside the box trickled wide of the right hand post. In first half injury time Michael Kerr’s shot from the far right hand side made the Swifts keeper produce a fine save, with the half ending 0-1.
In the opening stages of the second half Mark Kelly’s header from a corner by Gareth Tommons was cleared by stopper Moore. McAllister again showed great skill when his well-timed pass found Josh Kelly but his shot trickled wide of the left-hand post.
Lowe’s powerful shot then made Sam Johnston produce a fine save in the sixty second minute before, in the seventy first minute, Ards doubled their lead when Kym Nelson’s strike deflected off Mark Kelly and found the back of the net to make it 0-2.
Mark Kelly’s pass nearly connected with a sliding Tommons as the away side grew in confidence.
In the ninetieth minute Ards got their third when substitute Michael McLellan showed great skill to find Eamon McAllister who coolly beat both the Dungannon defence and their stopper and slid the ball in to the back of the empty net. The game finished seconds later with a convincing, much-needed 0-3 victory for Ards.
What a win for Ards who remain bottom of the table but are now only two points adrift. With their first away win of the season under their belt, Ards will look to build on the confidence shown at Stangmore Park on New Years Day when Linfield visit The Bangor Fuels Arena.
Starting XI: Sam Johnston, Michael Kerr, Craig McClean, Adam McAleenan, Callum Byers, Kyle Cherry, Josh Kelly, Eamon McAllister, Gareth Tommons, Kym Nelson and Mark Kelly.
Used Substitute: Michael McLellan (for Mark Kelly).
Unused Substitutes: Matthew Davidson, David McAllister, Jonah Mitchell, Marc McKenna, Aaron Boyd and Ryan Strain.
Yellow cards- Gareth Tommons and Kym Nelson.