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Northern Ireland League Cup, round 2

Ards 3 Newry City 1


We booked our place in the last 16 of the League Cup with a 3-1 victory over Newry City in Bangor.

With an injury list that numbered seven plus another suspended, Ards were forced into a number of changes from the side that featured last Friday night. Coming in for his first start of the season was keeper Liam McAuley and he was joined on the field by two debuting players - Jamie Rea and Jamie Douglas.

The visitors had a decent early spell, during which the best hope for a goal came on 11 minutes when the full back Kevin McArdle finished a good run with a strong shot that Liam McAuley had to parry to safety.

There was little of anything to note until the final ten minutes of the half when Ards began to finally mount a serious attack. On 35 minutes Jamie Douglas slipped a pass through to Guillaume Keke, who went past one defender but was denied by a good block from the goalkeeper.

A minute after that and Gareth Tommons let fly from around 35 yards with a well struck shot that almost caught keeper Peter Murphy out, but he adjusted well to keep the ball out. Not long after that and Douglas would try to test the keeper, but after looking up and letting fly, his shot from about 30 yards was just wide of goal.

Newry should have been ahead a minute into the second but for a superb save from McAuley. A corner swung in from the right found Neil Mullan dead centre and he powered in a header that McAuley stopped at point blank range. At the other end Ards would come within inches of scoring when a low shot from Jordan Hughes cracked the base of the Newry upright.

The deadlock was finally broken on 68 minutes when Ards were awarded a penalty for a trip on Carl McComb from behind. The same played picked himself up to take the kick, placing the ball well past Murphy.

Another penalty, this one for Newry, would level the match just two minutes later. An attack up the left saw Mark Hughes break into the Ards area, where he got the better side of Greg Hall, who felled the attacker. Penalty duties fell to James Walker, who comfortably sent McAuley the wrong way.

To their credit, Ards responded well enough and after a shot from Tommons was saved by Murray, the lead was restored with an excellent team goal on 83 minutes. McComb began the attack on the right side, moving the ball inside for Ross Arthurs. His lay off was swept left by Kyle Cherry to find sub David McAllister and after a couple of strides, he smashed the ball low into the net.

A touch of gloss was put on the scoreline, if not the performance, in the final minute of play. McComb fed Tommons high on the right, with his return ball just right for McComb to side foot into the net.

30th August 2016


1 Liam McAuley, 2 Greg Hall, 4 Stuart McMullan (capt.), 21 Callum Byers, 22 Jamie Rea, 16 Gareth Tommons, 8 Ross Arthurs, 12 Jordan Hughes, 17 Carl McComb, 19 Guillaume Keke, 27 Jamie Douglas


6 David McCullough (for Keke 80), 9 Andrew Foster, 11 David McAllister (for Douglas 48), 18 Aaron Hogg, 20 Kyle Cherry (for Hughes 62)


Steven Taylor


Tommons (75)


Two goals from Carl McComb helped us to victory over Newry
Picture: Gareth McCluskey
Sam Magill presents the man of the match award to Stuart McMullan, on behalf of the match ball sponsor Jim Palmer
Picture: Andrew McCullough