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Danske Bank Premiership

Ards 2 Cliftonville 2


MATCH SPONSOR

OCS -  Outsourced Client Solutions


We started the season with a point after twice coming from behind to earn a 2-2 draw with Cliftonville.


A healthly crowd in Bangor Fuels Arena saw our return to the Premiership and saw Ards give a good account of themselves in the first half against the team that beaten us 3-0 in last season’s League Cup final. The day’s earliest chance came from Cliftonville though when on seven minutes a low drive from the left from Jay Donnelly forced Aaron Hogg into a save.


Four minutes later and a similar chance at the other end saw Michael Ruddy demand a stop from ex-Ards keeper Jason Mooney. Cliftonville responded with an opening from Chris Curran, but he put his shot wide of goal.


The day’s opening goal arrived on 28 minutes. Some good, close play on the left of the Ards area had Jay Donnelly feed the ball to full back Levi Ives and took two touches before finishing low past Hogg.


With eight debutantes in his new look side, boss Niall Currie would have been keen to see the first half out on level terms and he got that wish when Ards were awarded a penalty with ten minutes remaining. As Craig McMillen attempted to put the ball in from the left it struck the arm of Caoimhin Bonner and ref Keith Kennedy duly gave the spot kick. The coolest man on the pitch proved to be Michael Ruddy who chipped the ball well out of Mooney’s reach.


The strong finish to the first half sadly was mirrored as the second period got underway and we found ourselves behind again within a minute. A corner on the right from Martin Donnelly found Jay Donnelly and after his first effort was blocked, he responded with a lobbed effort that flew over the keeper’s head.


Cliftonville began to show some presence after that and for a time Ards were on the back foot. On 59 minutes Jay Donnelly was at it again, with abother goal bound lob that Hogg this time tipped over the bar.


Ards did come back though and we had our second equaliser of the day on 72 minutes and what a goal it was. Joe McKinney had the ball at his feet out on the right and he took on the Cliftonville defence, going past one defender before blasting the ball over Mooney.


That would be the last real action of the game as Cliftonville could find no way to another goal, leaving Ards probably the happier of the two sides.


6th August 2016


Team

18 Aaron Hogg, 14 Fra Brennan, 25 Emmet Friars (capt.), 5 Johnny Taylor, 3 Michael Ruddy, 7 Craig McMillen, 20 Kyle Cherry, 6 David McCullough, 10 Joe McKinney, 11 David McAllister, 19 Guillaume Keke


Substitutes

2 Greg Hall, 4 Stuart McMullan, 8 Ross Arthurs (for McCullough 58), 12 Jordan Hughes (for McAllister 82), 22 Jamie Rea


Referee

Keith Kennedy


Yellows

Brennan (39), McMillen (52), Friars (56)


Attendence

820


Ivor Edgar presents the man of the match award to Joe McKinney, on behalf of match sponsors OCS
Picture: Andrew McCullough
Picture: Gareth McCluskey