Match Report: Ards 1-6 Glenavon
Ards went in to this game on the back of a number of poor performances with a 1-0 league defeat away at Dungannon Swifts, an Irish Cup Sixth Round exit at Loughgall and then a 4-0 thrashing by Carrick, so this rearranged game against Glenavon offered the chance to stop this slide.
Thankfully the weather, although very cold, was a lot better than during the previous clash which had to be abandoned due to high winds. Ards made a few changes in their starting line-up, most notably with Aaron Hogg starting between the posts.
Just one minute in to the game the away side took the lead following a strong run from Reece Marshall finding Andy Mitchell who opened the scoring, leading to many home supporters fearing a long night ahead.
In the 17th minute Ards had a half-chance when Glenavon ‘keeper Jonny Tuffey misjudged Guillaume Keke’s shot, but the danger was cleared.
Then, in the 21st minute, Glenavon doubled their lead when Joel Cooper’s good run down Ards’ right flank lead to his cross finding Stephen Murray who chested the ball home from more or less on the Ards goal-line to make it 2-0.
As Ards tried to claw their way back in to the game a nice pass from Gareth Tommons found Scott Davidson whose strong shot at least warmed the hands of Tuffey, as he parried the shot wide. The resulting corner was initially cleared before Reece Glendinning won back possession and found Keke but his effort failed to test the ‘keeper.
The ever-dangerous Stephen Murray was then involved in a good chance in the 29th minute following link-up play with Bobby Burns before, in the 43th minute, Murray’s shot went narrowly wide. So the half drew to a close with Ards trailing 2-0.
Just three minutes in to the second half Reece Neale made a goal-line clearance after a scramble in the box. Davidson was then replaced by Cameron Stewart, before Luke Kelly picked up a yellow card for Ards. In the 54th minute a swinging cross from Keke gave Tommons a good chance but he failed to connect with the ball, before Luke Kelly was replaced by Marc McKenna.
In the 55th minute another combination between Stephen Murray and Bobby Burns saw Burns’s shot well saved by Aaron Hogg, but Joel Cooper was on hand to make it 3-0.
Callum Byers was then replaced by Adam McAleenan before Ards scored an unlikely goal in the 65th minute when Glendinning’s free kick beat Tuffey. 3-1 to the away side.
In the 67th minute David McAllister’s shot almost reduced the deficit again, before a mix-up between Hogg and Taylor almost let Mitchell score his second.
In the 72nd minute, Murray scored Glenavon’s fourth goal casually and calmly beating three Ards defenders before slotting home.
Substitute Josh Daniels then tricked the Ards defence and a nice pass found Mitchell who did score his second of the night.
Eight minutes later Glenavon got their sixth with another substitute Marc Griffin heading home past a static defence. Ards had a chance for a late consolation goal but McAllister just failed to find the target.
Josh Kelly then picked up the home side’s man of the match award before receiving a caution, as the game ended 6-1 to Glenavon.
So Ards’ poor performances continue, with some perhaps arguing that they were lucky to only lose 6-1. Ards travel to Glentoran on Friday night, and hopefully the run of bad results will end there, where Ards are unbeaten this season!
Aaron Hogg, Reece Glendinning, Johnny Taylor, Callum Byers, Reece Neale, Gareth Tommons, Luke Kelly, Josh Kelly, Scott Davidson, David McAllister, Guillaume Keke
Subs: Cameron Stewart (for Scott Davidson), Marc McKenna (for Luke Kelly),
and Adam McAleenan (for Callum Byers) Unused: Jonah Mitchell & Kyle Cherr
Ards MOTM was Josh Kelly, presented by
Kyle Woodrow on behalf of match sponsor Sam Barry.