August 11th 2018
Danske Bank Premiership
Match Sponsor: Windsor Stores
By Jana McCabe
The first league game of the season at the Bangor Fuels Arena saw Ards face Glentoran. When these two teams clashed last season both came away with both the away victories. The Red and Blue army gathered in rainy and blustery Bangor to cheer on the boys dressed in the new home kit.
Early on Jonah Mitchell was fouled in a dangerous position. Kym Nelson stood up and took the free kick which connected with David Elebert’s head but his header wasn’t on target. In the fifth minute a David McAllister corner provided Elebert with another goal-scoring opportunity but his strong header was cleared off the line by a combination of Elliott Morris and Curtis Allen.
However the promising start quickly turned sour when both Sean Noble and Elebert picked up injuries within minutes of each other which meant that neither could continue. Michael McLellan and Adam McAleenan replaced the injured pair.
It got worse for Ards in the twenty fourth minute when a Jonny Frazer foul on Ross Redman gave Glentoran a free kick on the edge of the box. Dylan Davidson’s swinging free kick found John McGuigan and his free header deflected off McAleenan and into the back of the net to make it 0-1.
Glentoran continued to push for another goal and in the twenty sixth minute Willie Garrett’s free kick hit the post. Sam Johnston then produced a fine save when Curtis Allen’s header looked like it had put the Glens further ahead. McLellan then tried to trick the Glens keeper with a shot from the half way line but his shot wasn’t on target.
Glentoran’s second of the game arrived in the forty fourth minute when skilful team work between Marcus Kane, Davidson and Allen provided Allen with a great opportunity, and his shot flew past Johnston. Ards’ injury problems got worse when Nelson was hurt, so Ards finished the half with ten men as he received assistance, with the first half ending 0-2.
The second half saw the predictable substitution of Nelson who was replaced by Kyle Cherry. Glentoran looked to seal the deal when McGuigan’s long ball to Allen looking promising for them but his header wasn’t on target. Jonah Mitchell’s free kick was then saved in the fifty eighth minute. Kyle Cherry, McLellan and Mitchell were then booked as Ards started to rack up the yellow cards.
In the eighty ninth minute Kyle Cherry’s shot was wide of the left post, before McGuigan’s shot from outside the box was well saved by Johnston in the closing stages. The match ended 0-2 with David McAllister picking up the award for the home side’s man of the match.
So not a great start to the home campaign, especially with a number of injuries picked up during the game. Ards play Ballymena at the Bangor Fuels Arena next Saturday when they’ll look to pick up their first points of the season.
Sam Johnston; Michael Kerr, David Elebert, Callum Byers, Craig McClean; Jonny Frazer, Gareth Tommons, Kym Nelson, David McAllister; Jonah Mitchell; Sean Noble
Subs: Michael McLellan (for Sean Noble), Adam McAleenan (for David Elebert) and Kyle Cherry (for Kym Nelson). Unused: Jason Mooney (GK), Eamon McAllister, Johnny Taylor & Mark Kelly.