By Jana McCabe
With Glentoran beating Ards's relegation rivals Newry City on Friday evening, three points at the Brandywell would see Ards move off the foot of the table on goal difference.
In the eighth minute Michael Kerr’s left-footed cross found Michael McLellan whose shot struck the bar, with the rebound falling to Kyle Cherry with his header finding the back of the net, but the referee disallowed the goal for offside.
For the home side, Aaron Jarvis's strong shot from range was deflected away by Johnston in the eleventh minute. Jarvis was then in action again but was unable to take advantage of a mix-up in the Ards defence.
In the sixteenth minute Stephen Curry crossed to Joe McCready but his free header was well saved by Sam Johnston. Then, in the forty first minute, McLellan's strike in front of goal could only find the side netting. In first half additional time Curry’s shot from inside the box was well saved by Johnston and the half ended 0-0.
In the fifty fifth minute a beautiful goal opened up the scoring when McLellan’s thirty five yard freekick found the back of the net, 0-1!
In the sixty seventh minute Eoghan McCawl battled to regain possession and put Gareth Tommons through on goal, but his strike was wide of the right hand post.
A lovely run and strike by Eamon McAllister was then well saved by the Institute 'keeper in the seventy second minute. A beautiful ball from Tommons then provided McAllister with a one on one opportunity but his strike was blocked in the seventy fourth minute.
Then an Ards corner saw Damien McNulty's header rebound off the bar, with the ball falling to substitute Mark Kelly but his shot was cleared off the line by the Institute defence, with a follow up header from Ards captain Callum Byers well saved.
In the eighty fourth minute Paul Smith’s close range strike trickled wide of the left hand post as Stute looked for an equaliser.
In additional time Gareth Brown’s shot from range was well saved, whilst Kyle Cherry’s shot from outside the box was just wide, with the game ending shortly afterwards.
Three crucial points for Ards as they fight to remain in the Premier League. Ards's final home game of the season sees Dungannon Swifts visit the Bangor Fuels Arena on Tuesday evening.
Starting XI: Johnston, Kerr, McClean, Byers, McNulty, E McAllister, Tommons, J Kelly, Cherry, McCawl, and
Used substitutes- Mark Kelly (for Michael
Unused Subs: Davidson, McAleenan, Bennett, Shearer, Henderson.
Yellow Cards- Eoghan McCawl, Michael Kerr and Kyle Cherry