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
Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Share via e-mail

Danske Bank Premiership

Ards 0 Crusaders 1


Jordan Owens’ injury time header snatched all three points for the league leaders, breaking brave Ards hearts at the very death.

Seconds from the full time whistle Owens put his head to a Paul Heatley cross, sending the ball over Aaron Hogg and securing the points that would allow the Crues to open up a four point gap at the top of the Danske Bank Premiership.

Injury concerns to key players had dominated the build up to this game, but Ards were able to restore their first choice defence as Emmet Friars, Johnny Taylor and Michael Ruddy all returned to the starting line-up, as did Craig McMillen and Joe McKinney.

Early on Crusaders would make keeper Hogg work when a free kick from Michael Carville was pumped into the box and after a knock down, Colin Coates saw his shot blocked by the legs of Hogg. The keeper did well again not long after when a shot on the turn from Paul Heatley around the 18 yard line was well stopped by Hogg with a dive to his right.

At the other end a free kick into the Crusaders area from Kyle Cherry found the head of Ards skipper Friars and he forced Sean O’Neill into a flying save, at the expense of a corner.

The opening half would end up scoreless but after the break Crusaders were given an early boost when Ards were reduced to ten men. Gareth Tommons had only just come onto the field as a substitute on 57 minutes before he slid carelessly into Declan Caddell two minutes later and ref Steven Taylor felt he had no option but to produce the red card.

Buoyed by the dismissal, Crusaders upped their game and Hogg was required to deny the visitors again when he saved a close range volley from David Cushley.

With 70 minutes gone the sides would be evened up when Crusaders were reduced to ten men. Cushley, who himself had not long been on the field, was the player receiving his marching orders when he took the standing leg of Ards’ Joe McKinney after losing control of the ball and he too saw a flash of the referee’s red card.

Ards’ best chance of grabbing the lead came from a Cherry corner late on that found the head of Johnny Taylor but his effort flew narrowly wide of the far upright.

Then came the harsh reality for Ards as Crusaders hit us with a killer blow in the third minute of injury time. It was play maker Heatley who supplied the ball into the box, chipping it onto the head of Owens, and he directed it over Hogg who, a yard or two off his line, was helpless to keep it out.

3rd September 2016


18 Aaron Hogg, 2 Greg Hall, 25 Emmet Friars (capt.), 5 Johnny Taylor, 3 Michael Ruddy, 6 David McCullough, 20 Kyle Cherry, 7 Craig McMillen, 10 Joe McKinney, 11 David McAllister, 19 Guillaume Keke


4 Stuart McMullan, 8 Ross Arthurs (for McMillen 65), 16 Gareth Tommons (for McAllister 57), 17 Carl McComb (for Keke 83), 21 Callum Byers


Steven Taylor


Ruddy (65), Cherry (67)


Tommons (59)




Match highlights (BBC Sport NI)

Crusaders’ David Cushley is sent off in the second half
Picture: Gareth McCluskey
Emmet Friars receives the man of the match award from Alex Gibson (right) and friends
Picture: Gareth McCluskey