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Danske Bank Premiership
Dungannon Swifts 3 Ards 3
A spirited display at Stangmore Park saw Ards return home with a division of the
Dungannon were slow starters and Ards took advantage after 12 minutes when Guillaume
Keke slotted home inside the box. Ross Arthurs was the provider as he scooped the
ball over his head, Keke trekked the flight of the ball and slotted home into the
corner of the net.
The goal acted as a wake-up call as the Swifts soon found their rhythm. Their crisp
passing game had Ards running around in circles for the remainder of the half. They
deservedly got on level terms ten minutes before the break.
Ards’ hesitant defence failed to clear Lockhart’s corner kick and Wilson had little
difficulty in prodding the ball over the line from a few yards out.
The dominant home side remained on top but couldn’t add to their tally. The overworked
Ards rear-guard held firm and the half-time whistle came as a welcome relief.
Dungannon started the second half in sprightly fashion, but were stunned by a strike
from Keke on 51 minutes that will be a ‘Goal of the Season’ contender. The powerful
Frenchman made room for himself out on the left then from the edge of the penalty
area he unleashed a shot that flew into the net like a rocket.
Clearly stunned, the Swifts were knocked out of their stride for a while, but soon
regained their composure. Ards’ defending at set pieces was less than convincing
all afternoon and it was little surprise when Dungannon equalised from another corner
kick on 63 minutes.
The kick landed on the edge of the six-yard box where former Ardsman Andrew Mitchell
reacted quickest to tap the ball over the line.
Dungannon continued to pour forward and it was no surprise when they went in front
for the first time on 63 minutes. From outside the box, Cormac Burke curled a great
right-footed shot into the corner of the net and beyond an outstretched Hogg.
Ards were struggling to find a foothold on the game and only for some desperate defending
would have found themselves further behind.
Then out of the blue came the equaliser. An unmarked Liggett, a second-half substitute
for Arthurs, headed home Ruddy’s free kick with 14 minutes remaining.
The Tyrone men threw everything at Ards as they went in pursuit of the winner. The
Ards back four stayed strong and although it wasn’t pretty at times, they held out
until the final whistle to secure a hard-earned point.
25th February 2017
18 Aaron Hogg, 2 Greg Hall, 25 Emmet Friars (capt.), 5 Johnny Taylor, 3 Michael Ruddy,
16 David McCullough, 16 Gareth Tommons, 43 Josh Doherty, 11 David McAllister, 19
Guillaume Keke, 8 Ross Arthurs
9 Gary Liggett (for Arthurs 59), 42 Matthew Shevlin (for Keke 74), 12 Jordan Hughes,
17 Carl McComb, 41 Kevin Bradley