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CARRICK RANGERS 2 v 2 ARDS - DANSKE BANK PREMIERSHIP
SATURDAY, 15 APRIL, 2017
By Jana McCabe
With the Amber Army's relegation fight continuing and the Red & Blue Army celebrating
confirmation of another year in the top flight, the game started off at quite a pace,
with the first half in particular providing plenty of action.
It was Ards's Matthew Shevlin, continuing on from his man-of-the-match performance
in the victory against Dungannon Swifts, with the first real chance of the game,
but his attempt on goal lacked power and the Carrick keeper Brian Neeson was able
to retrieve Shevlin's shot after only 2 minutes.
Ards continued their early pressure with McMillen's cross to Shevlin forcing a corner
that lead the breakthrough being broken. Kyle Cherry stepped up to take the corner
which was cleared by a Carrick defender, but the clearance was met sweetly by Keke
on the volley from the edge of the penalty box to give Ards an early lead in the
Ards continued to create most of the early running with Cherry shooting just too
high from outside the box. Rangers then survived another scare after the referee
controversially let giant centre half Paddy McNally off with only a yellow card after
he had fouled Matthew Shevlin as he bore down on goal.
In the 15th minute Ards should have scored again when Kevin Bradley cleverly tricked
his way past his marker before crossing to Shevlin whose shot looked destined for
the back of the net, before Neeson pulled off a great save to block. The rebound
then fell to Keke in a similar area to his first goal, but his effort on goal hit
his team-mate Shevlin and went over the crossbar.
Shevlin continued his fine form with a lovely back-heel to Keke who was denied his
second with another good save from Rangers' keeper Brian Neeson.
Ards had let Carrick come in to the game, and Rangers were denied a penalty when
Martin Murray was felled in the box. In the 39th minute, and against the run of
play, Keke got his second of the game with a crisp deflected shot from just outside
However Carrick quickly hit back when, 2 minutes later, the dangerous Martin Murray
scored with a strong shot following a nice back-flick from Declan O'Brien.
Carrick then scored again 3 minutes later just before half-time, Paddy McNally tying
the game up as Ards failed to defend a corner with the defender heading in unchallenged.
Two goals per side after the first half made the outcome of the second half critical,
as it looked like Carrick would press hard for all 3 points, but the second half
was a disappointment.
In the 84th minute Ards had a great chance with a good header from Keke giving Doherty
a run on goal but he couldn't finish. That miss could have cost Ards 2 points with
Fra Rice again having a shot on goal and, as Carrick pressed for a winner, Sean Noble's
shot creeping just wide in the first of six added minutes, before the game petered