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  • Jana McCabe

Newry 2 v 1 Ards

On Friday evening Ards travelled to the Newry Showgrounds, where they haven’t won since 2003.

In the first minute of play Newry came close with Declan Carville’s header hitting the bar giving Ards an early reprieve , But away side settled and gre into the game with Jallow causing problems down the right hand side and in the 12th minute the away side took the lead when lovely build up play from Eamon McAllister and a well-timed pass from Salou Jallow gave Ross Arthurs a good opportunity in front of goal. The big number nine made no mistake and his header found the back of the net, 0-1.

Newry had a couple of good chances but McGovern’s strike from the far post and Carville’s header were both off target. Ards had Eamon McAllister and Kym Nelson receive yellow cards as tensions began to rise with some feisty challenges going in from both sides.

In the forty second minute Jallow produced another well-timed pass to give Eamon Scannell a close range chance. However he was unable to beat keeper Steven Maguire as he found his first two efforts blocked and the final chance was scuffed and went wide. Soon after Declan Carville’s free kick from a dangerous position was easily saved by Brian Neeson and the half ended with Ards holding a slender lead.

Ross Arthurs celebrates his early goal

Early in the second half both Conall Young and Ards captain McGovern picked up yellow cards as tensions started to rise . The home side were on the front foot in the second half and

they came very close in the 58th minute but James Teelan’s strike following Thomas Lockhart’s free kick could only find the side netting, much to the frustration of the home support.

A couple of minutes later the home side found the side netting again, this time following John McGovern’s strike as Newry turned up the pressure .

It wasnt all one way traffic though as Ards had another chance to double their lead when McAllister worked his way down the wing and cut the ball back beautifully

but failed to find a colleague in the box.

The Red and Blues were made to pay when Newry equalised in the 73rd minute as ex Ards man Mark Kelly, who had just come on as a substitute scored with his first touch of the game after slack marking in the 6 yard box allowed him an easy tap in . Up until then Ards had coped well with anything Newry threw at them but things got worse for the away side when, two minutes later, Brian King’s close range strike made it 2-1. Ards wobbled for a few minutes after and James Teelan could have made it three but he was unable to take advantage of a one-on-one chance he had against Neeson, putting the ball wide of the far post after a quick breakaway.

Ards debutant Nathan O'Neill, who had come on as a substitute then picked up a yellow card. In the 87th minute James Ferrin’s volley was wide of the left hand post as they pushed hard for the equaliser . Ards’s last chance of the game was a late free kick, but the Newry defence were quick to clear the danger.

A frustrating result for Ards who could have secured all three points and gone clear at the top of the table if they had converted one or two of the chances they had when they were leading 1-0, find themselves in second place behind Newry who had the better of the second half. Ards long wait for a victory at the Newry Showgrounds continues.

Starting eleven : Neeson, Young, McGovern, Ferrin, Dinu, E.McAllister, Nelson, Murray, Scannell, Jallow, Arthurs.

Subs used : McGrandles, McMillen, O'Neill, Glover

Subs not used : Reynolds, O'Kane, Calderwood.

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