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  • Jana McCabe

Glenavon 3 - Ards 1

By Jana McCabe

With both teams only having picked up a point in the month of November, this clash at Mourneview Park was set to be crucial. Three changes in the side that lost to fellow relegation battlers Newry last weekend saw Eamon McAllister, David Elebert and Josh Kelly replaced by Kyle Cherry, Michael Kerr and Gareth Tommons.

In the first minute Kym Nelson’s header from a corner kick was just wide of the left hand post. A minute later Mark Kelly’s strong shot took a deflection off Caolan Marron to give Ards a corner, however, the corner was quickly cleared by the Glenavon defence.

In the ninth minute Stephen Murray’s header made Sam Johnston produce his first save of the day. An injury saw Ards make an early substitution in the sixteenth minute with Johnny Taylor being replaced by Adam McAleenan.

The opening goal of the game came in the twentieth minute when Rhys Marshall’s long ball to Stephen Murray saw his run and pass find Andrew Mitchell whose sliding strike found the back of the net to make it 1-0.

Michael Kerr’s shot from the edge of the box was saved by Glenavon keeper Tuffey in the twenty sixth minute as Ards looked for a quick equaliser. In the thirty ninth minute Murray’s shot from inside the box deflected wide of the right post. The resulting corner saw Kym Nelson vital header deny a Glenavon threat.

Good teamwork between Kyle Cherry and David McAllister presented Jonny Frazer with a goalscoring opportunity but he was brought down in the box, but the referee ignored the penalty appeals from the Ards players and supporters. The half ended 1-0.

Cherry’s shot from outside the box curled over the bar in the early stages of the second period as Ards looked for an early second half goal.

In the fifty fifth minute Glenavon doubled their lead when Mitchell’s cross to Daniels saw his shot find the left side of the net to make it 2-0.

Johnston then did well to block Mark Sykes’ acrobatic shot in the fifty ninth minute. Sammy Clingan’s shot from distance then sailed over the bar as Glenavon continued to push for a third.

In the sixty third minute Craig McClean’s freekick found the head of Mark Kelly, but his header was off target.

Ards got one back in the sixty fifth minute when Gareth Tommons’ shot from the edge of box was saved by the Glenavon stopper, with substitute Michael McLellan slotting home the rebound to make it 2-1.

Tommons showed great bravery in the seventy third minute when he blocked a Glenavon freekick from a dangerous position. However Glenavon did get their third in the seventy fifth minute when Clingan’s strong strike from the edge of the box found the back of the net. Clingan’s unsportsmanlike conduct saw him celebrate in front of the Ards fans with this behaviour from an ex professional shocking the Red and Blue Army.

In the eighty seventh minute Marshall’s header sailed past the left post before, nearly on the final whistle, Ards had their final chance when Nelson’s freekick made Tuffey produce a fine save, and the game ended 3-1.

Another disappointing result for Ards who battled throughout the game, with attentions now turning to the crucial relegation battle this weekend as Warrenpoint visit the Bangor Fuels Arena.

Starting 11: Sam Johnston, Callum Byers, Craig McClean, Johnny Taylor, Michael Kerr, Jonny Frazer, Gareth Tommons, Kyle Cherry, Kym Nelson, David McAllister and Mark Kelly.

Used substitutes- Adam McAleenan (for Johnny Taylor), Jonah Mitchell (for Johnny Frazer) and Michael McLellan (for Kyle Cherry).

Unused substitutes- Eamon McAllister, Josh Kelly, Adam McAleenan and Ryan Strain

Yellow cards- Kym Nelson.

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