Ards survive big scare against Dungannon Swifts to clinch first triumph since promotion
Dungannon Swifts 1-2 Ards
Ards claimed their first win since promotion back to the Danske Bank Premiership with a dramatic 2-1 victory at Stangmore Park.
First-half goals from Guillaume Keke and Kyle Cherry had the new boys in control. But they almost paid the price for a chaotic five-minute spell in the second-half when they conceded a goal and had a player sent off.
Ards' first came on 29 minutes when Dungannon failed to deal with a cross, and Keke's shot on the turn flashed past goalkeeper Andy Coleman.
And it got even better for Niall Currie's side just before half-time. Cherry timed his run superbly to meet a cross from the left and powered home a header.
But a chaotic five-minute period midway through the second-half left the match back in the balance.
First Andrew Burns pulled a goal back, hammering home with his left foot after good build-up play involving Jamie Glackin and sub Stefan Lavery.
Then Ards were reduced to 10 men with Joe McKinney walking for an apparent elbow on Dungannon's Douglas Wilson.
The Swifts sensed an equaliser and it so nearly came for Andrew Mitchell, whose header was somehow scrambled off the line by a defender.
Dungannon Swifts: Coleman, Burns, Hegarty, Armstrong (Lavery, 60), O'Rourke (Douglas, 86), Wilson, Harpur, Clucas, Teggart, Glackin, Mitchell. Subs not used: Fitzpatrick, Lowe, Addis
Ards: Hogg, Hall, Friars, Taylor, Ruddy, McMillen (McMullan, 88), Arthurs, Cherry, McAllister (Tommons, 75), McKinney, Keke (McCombe, 69). Subs not used: Hughes, Rea. Referee: Raymond Crangle (Belfast)
Man of match: Johnny Taylor
Match rating: 7/10