Belfast Telegraph

O'Flynn hits a double as Nixon eyes some fresh faces

Ards 1 Glentoran 3

By Keith Bailie

Colin Nixon says he will assess his options after Ards lost 3-1 to his old club Glentoran at the Bangor Fuels Arena. A Stephen O'Flynn double handed the Glens an early advantage before Kevin Bradley pulled a goal back for Ards, but an injury-time strike from Curtis Allen put the game beyond doubt.

Glens legend Nixon said: "I wasn't going to sign any new players in the window but after tonight I will have to do something, because we are letting in too many soft goals. Yes, we had pressure in the second half, but I think the game really passed us by."

Glentoran gaffer Gary Haveron's outlook was, naturally, more upbeat as his men moved to within three points of the Premiership's top half.

"I'm delighted with the win and the performance," he said. "Ards put us under some pressure in the second half but I felt that our defence dealt with it really well. Elliott Morris didn't have a save to make in the second half.

"We deserved the win due to our excellent start to the game."

Glentoran came charging out of the blocks, creating a chance in the opening 10 seconds, but Allen fired a 20-yard volley just past the post as Ards failed to deal with a ball into the box - a worrying sign of things to come from Nixon's perspective.

In the 12th minute, O'Flynn found a yard of space outside the area and controlled a clearance with his chest before firing a low half-volley past Ards goalkeeper Aaron Hogg and into the bottom corner.

Haveron's men almost scored again in the 17th minute when a dangerous Ross Redman free-kick was headed an inch over the bar by O'Flynn.

The former Derry City target man did, however, bag his second of the night shortly afterwards.

Ards failed to deal with a left-wing cross with Emmet Friars' clearing header only reaching O'Flynn. Again, the striker controlled the ball before firing a half-volley home.

But Ards found a way back into the game in the 34th minute. With Glentoran unable to successfully clear their lines, recent recruit Bradley hit an in-swinging cross that evaded everybody en route to the back of the net.

If their goal had a hint of good fortune about it, the hosts were desperately unlucky in the 39th minute.

Winger Carl McComb curled a 20-yard free-kick around the wall and against the inside of the post just minutes before Morris did well to save a fierce Gareth Tommons attempt.

After the interval, Ards pushed hard for an equaliser but Nixon's men were unable to create a genuine goalscoring opportunity. Set-pieces and crosses zipped around the Glentoran area, but it was nothing either Morris or his defence couldn't deal with.

With the Red & Blues pushing for a leveller, the Glens picked them off on the counter-attack in stoppage time. Hogg parried an Aaron Harmon shot, which allowed Allen to score from close range and wrap up victory for the east Belfast side.

Ards: Hogg, Hall (Hughes, 77 mins), Friars, Bradley, Hogg, McComb (G McMullan, 60 mins), Cherry, Tommons, McAllister, Liggett, Shevlin (Keke, 64 mins). Unused subs: Arthurs, Brennan.

Glentoran: Morris, Ferrin (Birney, 27 mins), Addis Magee, Redman, Caldwell, Harmon, Kane (Gordon, 79 mins), Lavery, O’Flynn, Allen (Smith, 90 mins). Unused subs: Nelson, Jallow.

Referee: Keith Kennedy (Lisburn)

Man of the match: Stephen O’Flynn

Match rating: 7/10

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