Glentoran 1-1 Ards.
Updated: Mar 11, 2019
Ards played against a strong wind in the first half and in the early stages both teams struggled to master the conditions. The first chance fell to Damien McNulty who blazed over from about ten yards after the ball fell invitingly from a corner. A few minutes later the Glens went close with a header from a corner kick. Darren Murray then twisted inside the box and flashed an effort just wide of Johnston's far post. The nearest the home side came to a goal was when Murray's quick throw in found Allen and his first time shot looped on to the bar and over.
Ards then began to create some pressure and although a couple of quick corners came to nothing the sizeable crowd of travelling fans had their hopes lifted. Their hopes were realised when following a good move down the left an inviting cross found Nelson and the breaking ball was smashed home by McLellan a few minutes before the interval.
In the last minute of the half Kym Nelson got involved with Darren Murray after a free kick had been awarded to Glentoran and the resultant scuffle saw Nelson get a straight red for an apparent head butt.
The home fans probably expected an early onslaught in the second half but it was Mark Kelly who had the first real shot on goal when he hit an effort from an acute angle that had Nelson in a panic. D.McAllister had been brought on to provide some threat and he had a couple of good runs but to no avail. Glentoran finally equalised with twenty minutes left when a free from the Ards left was headed on by Allen and Murray who was virtually on the line tapped home. There was a suspicion of offside but the goal was awarded. The ten men continued to work hard and frustrate the home side but Sam Johnston didn't have too many shots to save as the defence tackled and blocked with real commitment. The final chance came to Glentoran when Garret's header came off the bar in the last minute.
The journey home was even better for Ards fans when they heard that Dungannon had come from behind to beat relegation rivals Newry City.
Starting XI : Sam Johnston, Michael Kerr, Damian McNulty, Johnny Taylor, Craig McClean. Eamon McAllister, Gareth Tommons, Josh Kelly, Kym Nelson. Michael McLellan, Mark Kelly.
Substitutes : David McAllister [ replaced Michael McLellan in the 46th minute]
Kyle Cherry [replaced Eamon McAllister in the 73rd minute].
Callum Byers [replaced Mark Kelly in the 84th minute].
Unused substitutes : Matthew Davidson, Adam McAleenan, Johnathan Smith, Eoghan McCawl.
Yellow cards : Gareth Tommons, Josh Kelly.
Red card : Kym Nelson.