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Danske Bank Premiership

Ards 1 Portadown 0

MATCH SPONSOR: An anonymous supporter

BALL SPONSOR: Mr Ted Sinnott

An injury time goal from Carl McComb saw the points smashed and grabbed after a tight encounter with Portadown.

A fairly low key opening half saw Portadown probably have the better of the early stages while Ards got progressively stronger. The first opening of the game saw a free kick from Portadown’s Nial Henderson go over the bar without troubling the goalkeeper.

On 15 minutes Ards had their first opening when a corner from David McAllister picked out Michael Ruddy in the middle and he put a header over from fairly close range.

On the half hour an ever better chance for Ards. A throw in on the right from Hall was flicked on for Kyle Cherry, whose header was well pushed onto the post by David Miskelly, before a covering defender moved in to hook the ball clear. Right at the end of the half Portadown threatened again but Sean Mackle’s fiercely hit low drive didn’t trouble the Ards goal.

The second half was played out in similar fashion with few chances for either side and the likelihood that a single goal might be enough. For Ards, they had the opening chance when a corner from McMillen found the head of Ruddy but the ball ended up on the roof of the net.

Portadown hit back with a chance on 64 minutes when Parker’s cross was met by Garry Breen but his header too went over the top. Portadown seemed to be getting close and on 79 minutes a shot drilled across the box by Stephen Hughes had to be touched away by Aaron Hogg.

The 86th minute then presented Portadown with perhaps the boost they had been looking for. Ards keeper Hogg was looking to put the ball into touch for McMillen to receive treatment but just as he did that Eoin Kirwan ran across the path of defender Johnny Taylor, who was already on a yellow and with that tackle made, the Ards man was off.

The resulting free kick was well struck by Brendan Shannon and only kept out by the face of the crossbar.

A minute from time and Portadown were left wondering how they weren’t in the lead. A low ball across the area from Kirwan found Mark McAllister with his back to goal and the striker spun on the spot but somehow passed the ball wide of goal from just a matter of yards.

Then, came the late clincher. A free kick awarded some 25 yards out saw Ards commit just two men to the attack. Jordan Hughes’ low hit was surprisingly spilled by David Miskelly and substitute McComb reacted quickest to thump the ball in and claim all three points for this unbeaten Ards side.

13th August 2016


18 Aaron Hogg, 2 Greg Hall, 25 Emmet Friars (capt.), 5 Johnny Taylor, 3 Michael Ruddy, 7 Craig McMillen, 20 Kyle Cherry, 14 Fra Brennan, 11 David McAllister, 16 Gareth Tommons, 8 Ross Arthurs


4 Stuart McMullan, 9 Gary Liggett (for Tommons 78), 12 Jordan Hughes (for McAllister 69), 17 Carl McComb (for Brennan 58), 21 Callum Byers


Arnold Hunter


McComb (90+2)


Taylor (41, 86), Cherry (69)


Taylor (86)




Match highlights (BBC Sport NI)

Craig McMillen and Ross Arthurs celebrate Carl McComb’s late winner
Picture: Gareth McCluskey
Ball sponsor Ted Sinnott presents the man of the match award to Craig McMillen
Picture: Andrew McCullough