Match Report: Shorts 0-9 Ards
Saturday 21st July
Aircraft Park, Belfast
By Jana McCabe
As the hot weather ended its holiday to Northern Ireland Ards travelled to Aircraft Park to face Shorts FC. With the start of the season approaching and only three friendlies left Ards had to make sure they made the most of the limited time left so a strong squad lined up today.
It wasn’t long until the red and blue army had something to cheer about as just one minute in a corner from Sean Noble to the head of Kym Nelson found the back of the net and made it 0-1.
Ards continued to press and nearly had their second when David McAllister took a dipping shot from the edge of the box but Shorts keeper Ben Thompson was able to save it. The continued pressure was quickly rewarded when a Noble header made it 0–2 in the 10th minute. Shorts protested that the goal was offside but the goal was awarded and the game continued.
Just four minutes later a foul on Gareth Tommons in the box gave Ards a penalty. Michael McLellan strode up to the spot and sent the keeper the wrong way to make it 0-3 just fourteen minutes in.
The goals kept coming as on the twenty seventh minute a McAllister cross connected with Noble and he headed it home to get his second of the day.
Lloyd Larmour had Shorts best chance when his free kick was well saved by Sam Johnston on the half hour mark. In the thirty second minute Ards got their fifth with McAllister's ball from the left finding Noble who volleyed it in to get his third of the game.
In the thirty fifth minute Ards nearly had their sixth when a strong strike from captain Gareth Tommons made Shorts keeper Thompson pull off a fine save. Ards continued to strive for more with McAllister forcing two saves out of the keeper. McLellan nearly got his second in the closing stages of the first half but was denied when Thompson pulled off another great save to keep it 0-5 at the end of the first half.
At the start of the second half keeper Johnston was replaced by Jason Mooney. Kyle Cherry and Sean Noble left the field letting Jonah Mitchell and Josh Kelly join the goal fest. Just like in the first half it only took Ards one minute to open the scoring when Jonah Mitchell was brought down in the box. McLellan again stood up and as the keeper went left he slotted it down the middle to make it 0-6.
Mitchell then got a goal for himself in the fiftieth minute when he was patient, calmly tricked the keeper and chipped the ball over him allowing him to casually head it in to make it 0-7.
McLellan joined the hat trick group in the fifty fourth minute when his shot from the edge of the box slid into the bottom right corner. This made it 0-8 with still a lot of time on the clock.
Then Ards made some substitutions with McAllister and McLellan being replaced by Marc McKenna and Scott McArthur. Then a couple minutes later Michael Kerr left the field for Matthew Torrens. Tommons, Frazer and Nelson then went off allowing Cherry and Noble to come back on along with Michael Hunter.
McArthur had chances to get himself on the score sheet and push Ards ever closer to double figures but his first shot was wide of the right post in the seventy eighth minute with his second shot two minutes later being wide of the left post. In the last minute Kelly made it 9-0 with a strong strike which found the bottom left corner. The game ended 9-0 to Ards.
Goals galore for Ards with a superb victory over Shorts. Attentions now turn to Craig McMillen's testimonial on Wednesday night and the final friendly on Saturday against Rathfriland at Iveagh Park with kick off being 2pm.