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Toals Bookmakers County Antrim Shield R1

Ards 3 Knockbreda 1


BALL SPONSOR: MR BRIAN McDONALD


Second half goals from Guillaume Keke and Carl McComb complimented an early own goal to give us a win over Knockbreda in the County Antrim Shield.


With as many as eight first team players missing through injury and suspension, it was a makeshift Ards side that took the field against Knockbreda, who enjoyed a bright start to the game. Despite their early possession Knockbreda fell behind with eight minutes gone. A great through ball from Ross Arthurs had sent Guillaume Keke clear but in making the save, keeper Ryan McBride only succeeded in pushing the ball onto defender Tommy Wray, who unfortunately turned it into his own net.


The Ards lead lasted until just the 14th minute. David Johnston wasn’t picked up at the back post and when the ball fell to his feet, his shot high into the Ards net had the beating of Aaron Hogg.


Knockbreda then went close to taking the lead when David McMaster outstripped right back Callum Byers before unleashing a fierce, low drive that didn’t miss the goal by much.


A gilt-edged chance for Ards arrived in 22 minutes from a Jordan Hughes free kick. As the Breda defence failed to deal with the ball into the area, it fell kindly for Arthurs, but with the goal in front of him, he unexpectedly lashed the ball well over the crossbar.


After an inconsistent first period, Ards began to look more in control as the second half got underway. On 54 minutes we should have been ahead when Joe McKinney picked out the unmarked Hughes from the bye-line, only for the ex-Knockbreda player to blaze the ball over the bar.


Two minutes later and Ards did have the lead. A free kick played into the Breda box caused all sorts of confusion for players and fans alike as the ball somehow crept past keeper McBride and just inside the right hand upright. Post match investigations revealed that it was Keke who provided the feintest of touches to put us 2-1 up.


Knockbreda weren’t out of the game however and they missed a golden chance to level things with 70 minutes played. A cross from the left saw the ball turned onto the Ards crossbar with Kevin Lynch ready to pounce as the ball rebounded free. With Hogg on the deck it looked like a simple tap in for Lynch, only for him to strike the ball straight at the grateful keeper.


Ards’ confidence was growing more and more, while at the same time McKinney was becoming too much for Knockbreda to handle. On 76 minutes Carl McComb released the attacker up the right side and he drove 40 yards in on goal before striking the ball against the base of the far post. On 81 minutes McComb fed McKinney again, but this time he opted not to shoot but to play in substitute Gary Liggett, who lined up his own effort, but could only hit the post.


The final goal of the night came with 84 minutes played. A ball up the left side found McKinney high up the field and he did well to go past a defender before playing in McComb, who took stock of his position and finished low past the goalkeeper. It was the goal that finally gave Ards some comfort, with the last few minutes allowing some game time for debuting teenagers Ben Arthurs and Mark Johnston.


20th September 2016


Team

18 Aaron Hogg (GK), 21 Callum Byers 25 Emmet Friars (capt.), 4 Stuart McMullan, 21 Jamie Rea, 6 David McCullough, 8 Ross Arthurs, 12 Jordan Hughes, 10 Joe McKinney, 17 Carl McComb, 19 Guillaume Keke


Substitutes

2 Greg Hall, 3 Michael Ruddy, 9 Gary Liggett (for Keke 63), 33 Adam Arthurs (for McKinney 90), 34 Mark Johnston (for Byers 90+1)


Referee

Tony Clarke


Yellows

McCullough, Byers

Carl McComb netted our third goal of the night
Picture: Gareth McCluskey
Ivor Edgar presents the man of the match award to Joe McKinney on behalf of ball sponsor Brian McDonald
Picture: Keith Bailie