is the Official Website of Ards Football Club. The content and views expressed on this website are those of individuals and are not necessarily the views of Ards
Football Club Limited. All material is copyright Ards Football Club except where otherwise stated. No material may be reproduced without prior consent. To contact the editor on
any matter relating to the website, e-mail web at To contact the football club, see our list of contacts

Ards 3 v 2 Portadown - Danske Bank Premiership

Tuesday, 18 April, 2017 - By Jana McCabe

With Ards selecting their team from a fully-fit squad including captain Emmet Friars returning to the team after suspension, and with Portadown selecting the youngsters, some as young as 15, the game represented the visitors’ last chance to avoid relegation from the top flight.In the first minute, Matthew Shevlin showed good footwork to get the ball past his marker.  Shevlin again found himself in possession and his pass to eventual man-of-the-match David McAllister led to the first goal of the game with the pacey winger finding the bottom left-hand corner of the net with a great finish.  1-0 with only 2 minutes on the clock.With Portadown pushing for an equaliser which would keep a small amount of hope in their fight against almost certain relegation, they nearly equalised in the tenth minute when a big punt forward from Ports ‘keeper Chris McCaughey put in striker Marcio Soares but he was denied by a great tackle from McAllister.Portadown kept pushing with Soares breaking away from two Ards defenders in the 19th minute, but his shot went just wide of the left-hand side of the goal.  In the 26th minute confusion reigned supreme in the Portadown defence when good work from Keke and a mix-up between the keeper and one of his defenders let in the dangerous Shevlin but his shot was cleared off the line.  Ards continued to press for a second with a lovely pass from Michael Ruddy to Keke who just couldn’t control the through ball.In the 35th minute many thought that a lunging challenge from Portadown’s Garry Breen on Ards midfielder David McCullough should have resulted in a red card, but the referee only showed a yellow, much to the annoyance of the Red & Blue Army.

Portadown then got that equaliser they so truly desired with one minute to go in the first period.  On this occasion, David McAllister couldn’t control his tackle resulting in a corner.  Matthew Hazley’s inswinger gave captain Garry Breen a clear header past Aaron Hogg to tie the game at 1-1 at half time.Both teams started the second half with half-chances but it was Ards who would get the next goal with Craig McMillen finding Shevlin who turned his marker and placed his crisp shot in to the back of the net to make it 2-1 in the 51st minute.Ards continued to press with a great ball from Greg Hall finding Keke who was dispossessed when he surely should have scored in the 53rd minute.  However Keke didn’t have to wait long for his first goal of the game as Kyle Cherry found the Ards striker who kept his composure and slotted in into the back of the net after 57 minutes.  With Portadown fans realising that their plight was looking hopeless, chants of “the Championship, we’re on our way” could be heard from their loyal travelling support.Ards had another good chance when McAllister again showed his talent passing to Shevlin who had a shot, with McMillen hitting the bar from the rebound in the 59th minute.  Portadown then made a couple of substitutions with Callum Ferris and Jackson Holmes joining their relegation fight.Shortly after in the 64th minute, Ards’ Stuart McMullan was sent to the stands for his last gasp tackle in the box.  From the resulting penalty, 15-year-old Luke Wilson made no mistake, pulling one back for the visitors.Portadown’s Mario Soares then had 2 good attempts within a minute, with a shot on goal and then a header which hit the defender, before he was replaced by Nedas Maciulaitis.  The game was then reduced to 10 v 10 when the Ports’ Sean Mackle was dismissed for foul and abusive language.

Keke’s solo effort in the 89th minute looked destined for the back of the net but his right foot shot took a deflection off the Portadown keeper, with his follow up left foot shot just wide of the post.

McAllister then had a good attempt on goal from outside the box, before an extra 3 minutes was signalled by the fourth official. Cherry then had a good solo effort in the 92nd minute with the Portadown ‘keeper making a good save.

The whistle blew for full-time just as McAllister threatened to break through on goal, and perhaps would have rounded off his man-of-the-match performance with a fourth for Ards - well, we’ll never know.

So Ards’ last home game of the season resulted in a 3-2 victory, confining former Ards boss Niall Currie’s new charges to relegation.

Ards - A.Hogg, G.Hall, M.Ruddy, E.Friars, S.McMullan, K.Cherry, C.McMillen, D.McCullough, G.Keke, M.Shevlin, D.McAllister.  Sub used: K.Bradley.  Subs unused: R.Arthurs, J.Hughes, G.McMullan, J.Doherty.

Scorers: D.McAllister, M.Shevlin, G.Keke