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Danske Bank Premiership
Glenavon 1 Ards 0
An unfortunate own goal early in the game handed Glenavon the three points that inflicted
our first defeat of the season.
The win allowed Glenavon to leapfrog us into top spot in the Premiership on goals
scored, with the Lurgan side good for their win despite not finding the net themselves
during the 90 minutes.
The home side enjoyed the best of the early stages and they created a very early
chance on two minutes when a corner from the right found Simon Kelly and he placed
a header against the crossbar.
The game’s only goal would arrive on 17 minutes. A ball in from the left from Moorhouse
was aimed for Eoin Bradley, but he was beaten to the cross by David McAllister, whose
attempted clearance ended up skidding off his head and into his own net.
Ards looked to hit back on 26 minutes when a long punt up the field from Aaron Hogg
dropped in behind the Glenavon defence and Carl McComb flashed a cross by the face
of the goal.
On the half hour Glenavon’s Ciaran Martyn gave Johnny Taylor the slip on the left
side of play and whipped over an excellent crossed that just evaded the outstretched
leg of Mark Sykes.
The 34th minute brought controversy as a long ball up the field forced Glenavon’s
Johnny Tuffey out of his area, with the goalkeeper shepherding the ball to safety
with his arm. As fans called for the keeper to walk, ref Raymond Hetherington produced
the more appropriate yellow card. From the resulting free kick McAllister’s ball
into the box found McComb and the striker struck a shot against the crossbar.
The second half opened with the same player going close again for Ards, with what
was probably our best chance of the night. Kyle Cherry slipped a ball through a couple
of defenders to reach McComb inside the box and he stepped around Tuffey but from
too tight an angle, Carl saw his shot blocked as it headed goalwards.
Ards were making a much better fist of things after the break but still it was Glenavon
who were looking the more dangerous. On 78 minutes a short cross from Bradley found
Martyn at the near post and Hogg had to react quickly to keep the forward’s effort
out. An even better chance followed three minutes later when Bradley ran on to a
long ball, easily outpacing substitute Stuart McMullan, but then the midfielder proceeded
to miss the target completely when one on one wth Hogg.
Ards were threatening but all too often a misplaced pass would ultimately be their
undoing and a similar error almost led to a second goal for the home side right on
the 90 minutes. Greg Hall had done a good job tidying up high on the right, guiding
the ball back to Hogg, who looked to play it back out to the full back. Unfortunately
the keeper’s kick went straight to Bradley, who showed some good awareness to pick
out Martyn on the edge of the area but his shot was superbly stopped by Hogg, who
had scrambled back into position.
An injury time breakaway briefly gave Ards hope of a leveller, but Guillaume Keke
was beaten in the chase by the alert Tuffey who maintained his clean sheet to ensure
a win for the Lurgan Blues.
26th August 2016
18 Aaron Hogg, 2 Greg Hall, 25 Emmet Friars (capt.), 5 Johnny Taylor, 3 Michael Ruddy,
7 Craig McMillen, 6 David McCullough, 20 Kyle Cherry, 11 David McAllister, 17 Carl
McComb, 19 Guillaume Keke
1 Liam McAuley (GK), 4 Stuart McMullan (for Friars 68), 8 Ross Arthurs, 12 Jordan
Hughes (for McMillen 70), 16 Gareth Tommons (for McCullough 55)