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Danske Bank Premiership

Ards 1 Glentoran 3

Glentoran came up trumps at Bangor Fuels Arena on Friday night as two early goals from a returning Stephen O’Flynn set them on course for victory.

The Glentoran striker netted twice inside the opening 20 minutes to put the visitors in control and despite Kevin Bradley pulling a goal back for Ards on his home debut, we never truly looked like taking a share of the game.

A early warning for Ards arrived within the first few seconds of the match when Curtis Allen struck an effort just past the home goal. The Glens would open the scoring with just 12 minutes gone when O’Flynn created his first of the night. With the ball played into his feet on the edge of the box, forward turned Carl McComb a couple of times to open up a yard of space before firing a low shot into the bottom left hand corner.

The same player would hit Ards again with 19 minutes played. Chris Lavery forced his way up into the left hand corner before cutting back a cross that Emmet Friars looked to clear out of the box. Unfortunately for him his header went only as far as O’Flynn, standing about 15 yards out and he took one touch to control before volleying in with his second.

After that initial shock, Ards eventually stabilised and a well hit drive from Gary Liggett approachcing the half hour wasn’t far wide. On 34 minutes Bradley pulled a goal back when the defender netted against one of his former club. From wide out on the right, the centre back delivered what looked no more than a hopeful cross into the Glentoran box, but a bounce in just the right place was enough to confuse Elliot Morris and the ball slipped into the net without another touch.

Ards went within inches of levelling the match six minutes from the break. A foul on Liggett just outside the Glentoran penalty area saw Ards awarded a free kick, which Carl McComb directed around the defensive wall but straight onto the base of the post. In the final minute of the half a cross from Ards’ David McAllister found its way indirectly to Gareth Tommons, who low shot was clawed off the line by a relieved Morris.

If the first half could be described as low key, then the second was positively dull. Either keeper could realistically have taken a sabbatical for most of the second period as neither team produced much of anything to entertain the decent Friday night crowd.

The 56th minute saw Lavery hit a half volley for Glentoran but it was well over. Ards weren’t found wanting for effort but there was never a final ball to break down Glentoran’s defence. Even Colin Nixon’s trio of changes did little to turn the match in Ards’ favour.

With seven minutes left Aaron Hogg would make a comfortable save from Glentoran’s Jonathan Addis as the game looked to slowing down to its inevitable conclusion. Then, then three minutes into added time the Glens added to their tally. A run from Aaron Harmon took him into the area with Hogg having to make a save at close range but the loose ball ran kindly for Curtis Allen, who had a straightforward tap in from a couple of yards out. The win extends Glentoran’s lead over Ards in the table to five points.

20th January 2017


18 Aaron Hogg, 2 Greg Hall, 25 Emmet Friars (capt.), 41 Kevin Bradley, 3 Michael Ruddy, 17 Carl McComb, 20 Kyle Cherry, 16 Gareth Tommons, 11 David McAllister, 42 Matthew Shevlin, 9 Gary Liggett


8 Ross Arthurs, 12 Jordan Hughes (for Hall 77), 14 Fra Brennan, 19 Guillaume Keke (for Shevlin 69), 27 Gerard McMullan (for McComb 59)


Keith Kennedy


Bradley (34)


Friars (85)


Match highlights (BBC Sport NI)

Picture: Andrew McCullough
Paul McMaster of The Streat, Ballyhackamore presents Emmet Friars with the Ards man of the match award
Picture: Andrew McCullough