Newry 3 - Ards 0
Updated: Apr 11, 2019
By Jana McCabe
The first game of the post-split fixtures saw Ards travel to Newry City with three crucial points up for grabs. Johnny Taylor captained the away side out at the Newry Showgrounds.
In the second minute of play Stefan Lavery missed a free header for the home side before, in the seventh minute, David McAllister’s pass to Darren Henderson was wide of the right hand post. In the eleventh minute the home side opened the scoring when a mistake in the Ards defence led to Stephen Hughes’s shot from inside the box finding the bottom corner. In the nineteenth minute a lovely cross from Craig McClean found the head of Mark Kelly but his header was too weak and was easily saved by Andy Coleman. A minute later Darren King’s strike was just wide of the left hand post.
The home side went further ahead in the twenty second minute when Mark McCabe took advantage of another mix up in the Ards defence and his shot found the back of the net to make it 2-0. Goalscorer Hughes’ shot from range was then just wide of the left post as Newry looked for a third. In first half injury time Ards had their first shot on target when David McAllister’s shot from range made Coleman produce a good save with the half ending 2-0.
In the opening stages of the second half Neil Mullen’s free-kick made Sam Johnston produce a fine save. Then, in the sixty first minute a pass from Callum Byers fell to debutant substitute Jourdan Shearer but the ball bounced away from him to the moans of the Red and Blue Army. Youngster Shearer was in action again when his shot was just wide of the right hand post in the sixty eighth minute.
In the seventy fifty minute, Tiarnán Rushe’s strike from the edge of the box found the back of the net to make it 3-0 to the home side before, minutes later, another mistake in the Ards defence left Jimmy Walker with an open net but he failed to take advantage of the opportunity.
With nine minutes to go Darren King’s curling strike from inside the box was well saved by Sam Johnston. In the closing stages of the game Newry were awarded a penalty. Dale Montgomery stepped up and took the spot kick with Johnston producing a fine save to deny Newry a fourth.
The game ended 3-0 - a disappointing result for Ards which means that they drop to the bottom of the table again. This weekend's fixture sees Glentoran visit the Bangor Fuels Arena.