Ards boss Currie: learn to appreciate what we have
Ards 3 Portadown 1: Ards boss Niall Currie believes events of the last week have put football into very clear perspective.
Although his side stormed to a 3-1 win at the newly refurbished Clandeboye Park against a lacklustre Portadown thanks to second half goals from Andrew Mitchell, William Faulkner and James Cully, Currie's thoughts were firmly with Bangor manager Garth Scates.
Scates' wife Lesley remains in hospital after she was involved in an horrific car crash in Comber last Wednesday and Currie explained: "I told the players to go out and enjoy themselves, because football is supposed to be fun.
"When you see what's going on with Garth's wife it puts everything into perspective.
"There are more important things in life than football – on occasions like today, you have to make sure you enjoy yourself, as sport is something that is there to be enjoyed.
"We all know Garth well and we work closely with Bangor, so everyone at Ards has the Scates family in their thoughts at this moment in time."
The win over the Ports was Ards' first game back at Bangor since lifting the Belfast Telegraph Championship One trophy in April and they were greeted by hundreds of fans who roared them on to a comprehensive win on the stadium's new 3G surface.
Glenavon loan star Mitchell pleased both his current side and parent club when he broke the deadlock by drilling the ball beneath visiting goalkeeper David Miskelly with 51 minutes on the clock.
Ards doubled their advantage 20 minutes later when substitute Paul McDowell's ambitious pass found William Faulkner, who ran through on goal before producing a confident finish.
The Ports pulled one back shortly afterwards, however, when McDowell conceded a penalty from a set-piece, allowing Darren Murray to reduce the arrears from the spot.
While Portadown pushed for an equaliser, Ards looked dangerous on the counter attack and wrapped things up in the 90th minute when James Cully scored a late penalty of his own after Garry Breen handled the ball inside the area.
"All our fans want is a bit of endeavour," added Currie.
"I asked our players to go out there and work hard and that's exactly what they did.
"There is quality there in our team, but you've got to show a bit of desire and a bit of passion as well, which was desperately lacking against Crusaders last week.
"The atmosphere at Clandeboye Park was brilliant. I was apprehensive coming into the game as I hadn't even seen the pitch but it's a good surface.
"We got a big crowd through the turnstiles and hopefully we sent them home happy. That's what it's all about."
ARDS: McKibbin, Hall, Hunter (Smith, 46 mins), Gibson, McCullough, Dougan, J Cully, Faulkner, McMillen, Mitchell (P McDowell, 68 mins), McClelland. Unused subs: Roy, Moffatt, Davidson
PORTADOWN: Miskelly, Casement, Friars (McCafferty, 42 mins), Breen, Traynor, McMahon (Mouncey, 59 mins), Ramsey, McStay (Judge, 75 mins), Liggett, Murray, Twigg. Unused subs: Brennan, Paget
Referee: Ian McNabb (Newtownabbey)