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  • Writer's pictureStuart Dellow

H&W Welders 4 v 0 Ards

ARDS HOPES CRUSHED. Ards only change from last week's starting eleven was Kyle Calderwood, suspended for the Knockbreda game, who replaced Young who went off injured at half time last week but was fit enough to take a place on the bench. At the final whistle the Ards fans who had stayed to the end trooped out of the Blanchflower Stadium wondering how a team that topped the table in November failed to stay in the top half of the table at the end of March. In truth the answer was obvious, as it has been for most of that period. Start the game brightly, don't take the chances and then concede, often as a result of defensive lapses. Today was a prime example of that, Ards did start brightly, with McAllister and Scannell combining well to create a couple of half chances in the first few minutes, one poked wide of the far post by Reynolds and then, although his shot lacked power, Cafolla drew a decent save from McGovern in the home goal. That was as good as it got for Ards, in the first meaningful Welders attack Michael McLellan found loads of space and headed the opener against his old team on twelve minutes. Ards weren't helped when the pacy Jallow was hacked down by McCarthy who got a yellow card, Salou tried to continue but was forced off on 20 minutes to be replaced, rather surprisingly by Conall Young, who adopted a more forward role than usual. A few minutes after this substitution another misplaced midfield pass led to McLellan striding towards goal and putting a low drive past a despairing Neeson, again Ards were architects of their own downfall. The only other attempt on goal from Ards in this half came when a Donnelly free kick from 25 yards failed to clear the defensive wall. Unsurprisingly a few minutes later Ards defence seemed to part like the Red Sea and Corbett put the hosts 3-0 ahead, leaving most Ards fans wondering how their team had the majority of possession but still managed to find themselves three goals down at half time. In an attempt to alter the flow of the game, Matthew Tipton brought on Ross Arthurs and Benny Igiehon for Scannell and Donnelly at the start of the second half and within a few minutes the two had linked well but Benny's final effort cleared the bar. The scoring for the day was completed when the Welders were awarded a free kick in the 57th minute and while Ards appeared to stop, thinking Cafolla might need attention following a challenge, the home side took a quick free kick and McLellan found himself in the clear, he drew Neeson out of goal and unselfishly rolled the ball to the unmarked Corbett who tapped home his second and his side's fourth. In a last attempt to change things Ards brought on McCurry and McGrandles for Reynolds and T.J Murray but there was to be no comeback. Igiehon did have another chance after good work by Arthurs down the right but he put his close range header over the bar. The Welders were content with the days work and the game drifted to it's conclusion. Just to add salt to the wounds, Dergview, who had been losing at Ballinamallard completed their comeback with an injury time winner and their win consigned Ards to a bottom six finish. The fixtures for the post split period are outlined below. Team ; Neeson ; Calderwood, McGovern, Crane, Scannell, Donnelly, Cafolla, T.J Murray, McAllister, Jallow and Reynolds. Subs ; Young for Jallow [20 minutes]. Igiehon and Arthurs for Scannell and Donnelly [46 minutes]. McGrandles and McCurry for Reynolds and Murray [72 minutes]. Post split fixtures :- Saturday April 9th - Dundela [A] at 3.00 p.m Saturday April 16th - Ballyclare Comrades [A] at 3.00 p.m. Tuesday April 19th - Institute [H] at 7.45 p.m. Saturday April 23rd - Knockbreda [A] at 3.00 p.m. Saturday April 30th - Queen's University [A] at 3,00 p.m.

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