Ards 1-0 Ballymena United
Ards secured victory over Ballymena United at the Bangor Fuels Arena in the rescheduled Danske Bank Premiership fixture in which a goal from Reece Glendinning, again, separated the two teams.
The home side could have been ahead with seven minutes played but Kyle Cherry’s shot was off-target after Cameron Stewart’s ball across the 6-yard box. A few minutes later the Sky Blues were kept out by Sam Johnston who saved Cathair Friel’s downward header after a Tony Kane free-kick from distance.
Friel continued to test the Newtownards goalkeeper and was denied for a second time in as many minutes when Johnston spread himself well to make the save. The Ballymena striker was then stopped by the underside of the crossbar before his chipped effort was held by Johnston.
At the other end of the pitch Jonny Frazer started a spell of pressure for Ards when his shot was put over the bar by United goalkeeper Ross Glendinning for a corner. Glendinning’s brother, and Ards left-back, Reece scored from Ross Clarke’s delivery in the 32nd minute of the match. Clarke then went close with a shot a minute later.
With six minutes of the first-half to go until half-time Leroy Millar tried to put the visitors in front but his shot curled away from the right post. Millar almost recorded an assist on 45 minutes with a back heel to Conor McCloskey whose curling shot back across goal went wide.
In the opening minutes of the second-half Guillaume Keke tried to add another goal for Ards but his shot took a deflection which resulted in a corner. After the set-piece had been taken, a shot from Frazer was blocked by the Ballymena defence. Shortly after the Braidmen had a chance to equalise when Andrew Burns crossed the ball into the 18-yard box before Kyle Owens’ header went over the bar.
United did come closer to levelling the scores when William Faulkner’s header across goal hit the post. Although the hosts continued to threaten in attack as Ballymena captain Jim Ervin had to clear Jonah Mitchell’s effort away from the goal line. Stewart then produced a shoot across goal which trundled wide of the left post.
Ards: Johnston, Ruddy, Byers, Taylor, Reece Glendinning, Clarke, Tommons, Cherry, Frazer (Mitchell, 51) Stewart, Keke
Subs not used: Hanley, McLellan, Davidson, Kelly
Ballymena United: Ross Glendinning, McCullough, Owens, Balmer (Weir, 51), Ervin, McCloskey, Millar, Kane (Quigley, 72), Burns, Friel, Shevlin (Faulkner, 46)
Subs not used: McDermott, McCaffrey
Referee: Ross Dunlop
By Paul Alexander