LATE SHOW FROM 10 MAN ARDS
ARDS 3 - 1 LOUGHGALL
Ards won their second game of the season in this Lough 41 Championship but the game bore no resemblance to the final scoreline which at 3-1 looks like a comfortable win for the Red and Blues. John Bailie made one change from the team that started Saturday's win over Annagh with Cafolla replacing Reynolds who perhaps wasn't fully fit after a knock in the Annagh game but took his place on the bench.
It was a terrible start for Ards who conceded a soft free kick on the edge of their box in the second minute which was gleefully converted by Mark Patton. This early setback seemed to stun Ards and while they had a lot of possession they failed to make inroads on a resolute Loughgall defence, rarely troubling Turker in the visitor's goal.
Ross Arthurs had a breakaway effort but was thwarted by a good defensive tackle before Kym Nelson blazed a strong shot over the bar. Eamon Scannell also went close with a a header as the home side looked to level the scores. The breakthrough Ards probably deserved came on the 42nd minute when Saturday's two goal hero Patrick Cafolla netted his third of the season with a lovely turn inside the box and a sweet left foot shot that beat the keeper. Their joy nearly turned to despair as the visitors had the ball in the net for the second time after a defensive lapse but the assistant referee had the flag up immediately to signal offside, half time came with the scores level and both sides feeling they could go on and win the three points.
Ards opened the second half on the front foot as they looked to gain the lead, a midfield tussle earned Kym Nelson a yellow card as Ards looked to assert some authority. As Ards continued to press an intelligent flicked header from Scannell just failed to find Ross Arthurs, before Loughgall had a good left wing move that finished with a shot flashing past the far post. Just before the hour mark Cafolla was sent off for a strong tackle that most spectators thought didn't warrant any more than a yellow, but it left Ards facing the last half hour with a man short and most thought they would do well to hold on for the point. As Loughgall piled on the pressure Ards worked hard to contain them and restricted them to shots from distance in the most part. It wasn't totally one way though and second half sub Kyle Calderwood had a strong shot from outside the box go narrowly wide. Ards then applied some pressure of their own and earned a corner taken by Crane which Turker did well to tip round for another corner, this time Crane got his delivery spot on and the inrushing Kym Nelson planted a firm header in the back of the net to give Ards the lead with a few minutes to go. As if this wasn't enough to please the fans, Jamie Glover who had only been on the pitch for ten minutes, was involved in a move down the left that he finished with a strong shot from a narrow angle to put Ards 3-1 up in the third minute of time added on. The celebrations of players and fans as the final whistle blew showed the importance of this win over one of the teams aiming for promotion.
Ards starting eleven :- Neeson, Young, McGovern, Ferrin, Crane, E.McAllister, Nelson, McGrandles, Cafolla, Scannell, Arthurs.
Substitutes used :- 60 minutes - Reynolds for Scannell. 75 minutes - Calderwood for E.McAllister. 82 minutes - Glover for Arthurs.
Yellow cards - Young and Nelson.
Red card - Cafolla.
FB Motors Man of the Match - Patrick Cafolla.
Referee - Diarmuid Harrigan.
First Assistant - Andrew Netherly
Second Assistant - Brian Nelson.