Belfast Telegraph

Ards boss Currie wants more consistency after Donegal Celtic notch late leveller

Ards 1 Donegal Celtic 1

By Keith Bailie

Ards might be second in the league with two cup semi-finals on the horizon, but some supporters are becoming increasingly restless.

Last week's 1-1 draw with Ballyclare Comrades at Dixon Park was followed by another disappointing 1-1 draw against Donegal Celtic at Clandeboye Park. Although Ards currently occupy the promotion play-off spot, they've only collected five points from their last four games and are six points behind leaders and rivals Bangor.

On Saturday, Ards looked set for victory after Gary Warwick gave the Red & Blues the lead in the sixth minute after he tapped home a Owain Beggs cross, but Danny Wallace headed an equaliser from a corner kick in the 70th minute.

Wallace's goal came six minutes after Ards full-back Craig McMillen was sent off for a second bookable offence. DC's Emmett Templeton followed McMillen down the tunnel in the 86 minute, after he received a straight red card for foul and abusive language.

Reflecting on the game, Ards boss Niall Currie said: “We've got to do more when we're in the ascendency. Bangor have six more points than us and that's because they're capable of winning games in the 90th minute. To do that, you need to go the extra mile and we're not doing that at the moment.

“We're not working the goalkeeper hard enough and we're not taking our chances. We put two guys up top against DC and we made good chances and we should have been two or three up at half-time. Then the game is over and you're sitting with a cigar.

“Fair play to DC. They came here and they worked their socks off. I wouldn't say they deserved a point but they worked hard and got something from the game. I'm disappointed, I expected us to get three points. The goal was poor, as it was headed in from about four yards out.

“I also have to put my hands up and admit that I should have taken Craig McMillen off. He had been warned and warned about persistent fouling. We talked to him at half-time and he seemed to be calm, but I should have taken the decision out of his hands. It ended up costing us.”

Ards will now be without left-back McMillen for Friday's Toals Bookmakers semi-final at Seaview against Carrick Rangers. Niall Currie's men then play Cliftonville at Clandeboye Park on Tuesday, December 2 in the semi-final of the County Antrim Shield. Both games have a 7.45pm kick-off.

Ards boss Currie said: “I'd rather been in better form going into these semi-finals but you're only ever one game away from turning everything around. This team is good enough to go on a winning run but we have got to do more. We have got to find a level of consistency.

“We only play in fits and starts. There are periods in every game where we play very well but we don't do it for a whole 90 minutes.”

The draw was a welcome result for Nicky May's Donegal Celtic. The west Belfast side are now two points clear of the relegation zone.

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