Belfast Telegraph

Niall Currie still learning as Ards climb off bottom

By Keith Bailie

Ards 3 Coleraine 1: Niall Currie confessed that he is still learning the ropes at Premiership level after his Ards side moved off the bottom spot.

"We've never been stressed out about sitting at the bottom of the table as we always knew it would take us a while to adjust to the Premiership," he said.

"It's a big step up from the Championship, both for the players and myself. I've learnt more in four months then I did in my previous eight years as a manager. It's taken me a bit of time to get my head round things and I make no bones about that.

"But I'm very proud of my team, because they're really just a bunch of babies. As long as they keep learning, keep listening, apply themselves properly and continue to show the commitment and the desire that is required to play at this level, then they've a chance of making it in the Irish League."

While Ards won the match, it was Coleraine who opened the scoring when former Ballymoney United star Eoin Bradley beat the offside trap and executed a magnificent 61st minute lob.

Currie's side equalised six minutes later when James Cully bundled Stephen McCullough's free-kick past Wayne Drummond.

The crucial goal arrived 14 minutes from time when Willie Faulkner was brought down by Drummond inside the box and captain Cully stepped up to dispatch the ball from the penalty spot.

Man of the match Andrew Mitchell completed the scoring and wrapped up three valuable points with a goal in the 81st minute, running onto a defence-splitting pass before sliding the ball past Drummond.

ARDS: McKibbin, Hall, Hunter, Gibson, McCullough, Dougan, J.Cully, Faulkner, McMillen, McClelland, Mitchell (P McDowell, 85 mins). Unused subs: Roy, Smith, Henderson, Davidson

COLERAINE: Drummond, Watt, Beverland, Douglas, McIlmoyle, Carson (Jennings, 75 mins), Canning, McMullan (Owens, 75 mins), Tommons, Bradley, Browne. Unused subs: Stewart, Moore, Bradley

Referee: Colin Burns (Comber)

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