• Jana McCabe

GLENTORAN 0 V 0 ARDS (GLENTORAN WIN 5-4 ON PENALTIES

After a late Craig McMillen goal gave the Red and Blues the win against Lisburn Distillery on Saturday, Ards progressed to the quarter finals of the County Antrim Shield to play Glentoran who had triumphed over Bangor. The home side had the first chance when new signing Jamie McDonagh’s corner was headed on by Seanan Clucas, with the chance just wide of the right-hand post. In the tenth minute Brian Neeson blocked Clucas’ strike as the Glens continued to dominate. McDonagh's freekick from a dangerous position was then denied by the busy Neeson. Marcus Kane’s freekick was deflected and fell to Jay Donnelly but his strike was just wide of the left-hand post. Ards' first and only chance of the half came in the forty third minute when Craig McMillen was through on goal but was quickly crowded out by Coleing and McCullough and the danger was cleared, with the half ending 0-0. The second half continued with Glentoran having the majority of the possession but unable to break the deadlock against a hard working Ards side. In the seventieth minute McMillen’s freekick was nodded back towards goal but Darius Roohi’s follow-up header was off target. The home side's captain Marcus Kane then had his close-range strike saved by the alert Neeson. McDonagh, who proved dangerous with his speed down the wing all evening, then won the home side a corner, with Kane’s resulting strike from the edge of box just over the bar. In the last five minutes, the home fans appealed for a penalty as Nelson brought a Glentoran player down in the box but referee Chris Morrison awarded the freekick to Ards. After 90 minutes the game was still goalless and, even though they had few chances, Ards had performed very well under the pressure, with the game then proceeding straight to penalty kicks. Roohi stepped  up confidently to give Ards an ideal start and when Clucas had his spot kick saved by Neeson Ards had an early advantage.  Crowe, Gorman and Donnelly took the next three penalties for the Glens with them all making no mistake in finding the back of the net. Similarly Ards' next two spot kickers Daniel Reynolds and Callum Ferris made no mistake with both scoring lovely penalties. Leo Brown took the fourth penalty for Ards with his attempt saved to level the penalties to 3-3. Bigrimina and Kyle Calderwood took the next round of spot kicks with both finding the top right-hand corner. Goalkeeper Neeson then surprisingly stepped up to take the next penalty with his attempt well over the bar. However, O’Connor’s penalty also missed the target, with the score remaining 4-4. In the final two penalties Ards's Ruari O’Haire unluckily had his penalty saved, with McDonagh scoring his to give Glentoran the win. So, a disappointing result for Ards in the end, but nevertheless throughout they showed great resilience, so there are many positives to take from this defeat against the big-spending Glens. Starting eleven: Neeson: Young,  McGovern, O'Haire, Dinu : McMillen,  Calderwood,  Nelson, Jallow : Reynolds, Roohi. Subs used: E.McAllister and Ferris for McMillen and Young , Brown for Jallow


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