Match Report: Glentoran 1-2 Ards
DANSKE BANK PREMIERSHIP
Friday 16th February 2018
By Jana McCabe
Ards's performances during February have all been ones to forget but bad runs have to end sometime and, with Ards winning at the Oval for the first time in 30 years earlier in the season, maybe they could triumph again and put an end to the bad run?
Glentoran approached this game on the back of two victories in their last three games, including a 2-1 midweek victory over Carrick, a much better result than Ards's heavy defeat against the same opposition last weekend.
The Ards defence was reorganized with Sam Johnston returning in goal, Callum Byers starting at right back and Reece Glendinning switching to left back, with Johnny Taylor and the returning David Elebert in the centre.
The first real chance came in the 12th minute for the home side with Curtis Allen's well-timed run and shot making Johnston have to react quickly and pull off a fine save. Three minutes later Robbie McDaid's header was saved by Johnston. Ards's first chance came in the 22nd minute when a great cross from Reece Glendinning should have resulted in a headed goal for Jonah Mitchell but the youngster somehow managed to clear the bar.
In the 29th minute Johnston was beaten by Robbie McDaid who found his strike partner Allen who somehow managed to fail to hit the target, much to the Ards fans' relief. So a great chance for each side went begging.
Two heavy challenges by Marcus Kane on David Elebert and then Jonah Mitchell went unpunished before, in the 39th minute, a skillful pass from David McAllister found Cameron Stewart but he just couldn't wrestle free of a Glens defender, apparently wanting to swap shirts during the first half, to get a header on target!
In the last five minutes of the first half Guillaume Keke's curling shot just cleared the bar, whilst Callum Birney was booked for a heavy challenge on Mitchell, with the first half drawing to a close with some signs of promise from Ards.
Three minutes in to the second half an acrobatic shot from Mitchell just cleared the bar, before the industrious Josh Kelly picked up a booking.
Then the moment all Ards fans were waiting for finally arrived in the 58th minute when Glendinning's long ball was flicked on by a header from Cherry to Keke. Bearing down on the Glens' goal, the Ards striker evaded the defenders before calmly curling his shot across goal and in to the corner of the net to give Ards the lead.
Not long after the Ards opener, a shot from McAllister lead to the Glens' keeper Elliott Morris hurting himself but, after a short period of treatment, play resumed.
In the 68th minute Ards doubled their lead, and Morris was involved again, catching an inswinging corner from McAllister but then, perhaps worried about colliding with the post, dropping the ball over the line and in to his own goal. So 2-0 to Ards in very bizarre circumstances.
As the Glens pressed for a way back in to the game Callum Byers robbed McDaid before he could trouble Johnston, with Keke then finding his strike partner Cameron Stewart, but Glens defender Steven Gordon cleared the danger for an Ards corner.
In the 77th minute Glentoran pulled one back when James Knowles' through-ball caught Sam Johnston in 'no-mans land' with Curtis Allen easily beating the Ards stopper.
Goal-scorer Keke was then replaced by Michael McLellan who, almost immediately, had a half chance to seal the game but the referee surprisingly pulled play back. Johnny Taylor was then booked before, in the 85th minute, Johnston pulled off a fine save from a free kick from Tiarnan McNicholl.
Kyle Cherry was then replaced by Scott Davidson before, in the 90th minute, Robbie McDaid missed a great chance to level the game. Five minutes of extra time followed
during which Knowles was booked for throwing the ball at Glendinning’s face before, after time dragging during the extra five minutes, the referee finally blew the full-time whistle to give Ards their first victory since 20th January.
Ards fans were definitely the happier of the two, with about 100 unhappy home fans remaining in the car park after the game protesting against the Glens’ board and manager.
So a great result for Ards who play Linfield at home next weekend. Personally I'd like Ards to play the Glens at the Oval every week!
Sam Johnston, Reece Glendinning, Callum Byers, Johnny Taylor, David Elebert, Jonah Mitchell, Josh Kelly, Kyle Cherry, David McAllister, Cameron Stewart, Guillaume Keke
Subs: Michael McLellan (for Guillaume Keke) & Scott Davidson (for Kyle Cherry)
Unused: Marc McKenna, Luke Kelly, & Adam McAleenan,