Danske Bank Premiership
April 7th 2018
by Jana McCabe
Seventh took on eighth at the Bangor Fuels Arena as Ards tried to keep the momentum going after Tuesday night's convincing home victory against Warrenpoint. With Ards 9 points behind Glentoran in the race for the final Europa League play-off place, the Red & Blue Army were hoping for another 3 points, with Aaron Hogg starting between the posts in place of recent regular starter Sam Johnston.
The first event of note featured the Glens' Marcus Kane picking up a caution for a late sliding tackle in the 4th minute. From the resulting free-kick Reece Glendinning looked to repeat his opening goal from Tuesday night from a similar distance, but the Glens' wall stood firm and the danger was cleared.
Glentoran nearly opened the scoring in the 19th minute when Peter MacMahon's shot led to a fine save from Hogg, with the busy Glendinning clearing the rebound. In the 30th minute Jonny Frazer tried his luck from distance but his shot just cleared the right-hand post. Kyle Cherry was then booked for a late sliding challenge on Kane who was stretchered off and replaced by Dylan Davidson.
Callum Byers then showed some great skill in the air when he cleverly headed Curtis Allen's spinning shot clear. In the 41st minute Frazer raced towards the Glens' goal but his touch was just too heavy, and the chance had gone.
Callum Birney and Cameron Stewart were then both booked for a tussle that resulted in both falling to the ground, and a number of other players becoming involved, with a tense first half ending scoreless.
The second half started in a similar fashion to the first with a free-kick from Glendinning just missing the target in the 47th minute. The deadlock was broken 2 minutes later when interchange between Stewart and McAleenan found Kyle Cherry in front of goal and he made no mistake to give the home side the lead. 1-0 to Ards.
In the 52nd minute Robbie McDaid's header was saved by Hogg as the Glens pressed for an equalizer. Johnny Addis was then booked for a tug on Stewart's shirt before Josh Kelly's pass found the busy Stewart but his header was saved in the 56th minute.
Glentoran did level matters in the 62nd minute though when Jonny Frazer committed a foul inside the area, resulting in a penalty from which substitute DylanDavidson made no mistake. Glendinning was booked for disputing the decision before Ards made a double substitution with McLellan and Cherry being replaced by Marc McKenna and Gareth Tommons.
Referee Jamie Robinson then became even more unpopular with the home supporters in the 68th minute when he adjudged that Glendinning's tackle inside the penalty area was illegal resulting in a second penalty for Dylan Davidson, with the sub again calmly slotting home from 12 yards to put the Glens ahead.
Jonah Mitchell was then replaced by Alex McIlmail, before poor marking by the Ards defence let Johnny Addis head home in the 77th minute to make it 3-1 to the Glens.
Frazer then cleverly blocked McDaid's goalbound shot to keep the score at 3-1, before the Glens did score again in injury time when a Curtis Allen strike from the edge of the box found the top left hand corner of the net. So a final scoreline of 1-4, with Jonny Frazer picking up the award for the Ards man of the match.
A disappointing afternoon for Ards, with Dungannon's victory against Carrick meaning the Swifts leapfrog Ards who are now in 9th place, but thankfully mathematically safe from the relegation dogfight. Attention now turns to Saturday's game versus Carrick, with Ards hoping for 3 points from the last away game of the 2017/18 season.
Aaron Hogg, Luke Kelly, Adam McAleenan, Callum Byers, Reece Glendinning, Jonah Mitchell, Kyle Cherry, Josh Kelly, Jonny Frazer, Cameron Stewart, Michael McLellan
Gareth Tommons (for Kyle Cherry), Marc McKenna (for Michael McLellan) & Jonah Mitchell (for Jonny Frazer). Unused: Michael Ruddy & Nathan Hanley
Match sponsors were Jax's Bar Newtownards and they chose Jonny Frazer as their Man Of The Match. He was presented with his award by Timmy Clarke.