Double dream is still alive and Kearney is relishing challenge
Ards 1 Coleraine 3
Coleraine manager Oran Kearney was delighted to see his players clinch a third victory in a week as they chase down a league and cup double.
Early strikes from Jamie McGonigle and Brad Lyons had the Bannsiders in control at the Bangor Fuels Arena, but that lead was halved when the in-form Ross Clarke fired home a free-kick.
The home side tried to find an equaliser but were thwarted as McGonigle scored his second via the penalty spot to seal a deserved three points.
"When you play an extra game midweek and given the high tempo of the Glentoran game it was important for us to grab the advantage today," Kearney said.
"We started well with two cracking goals, but I was disappointed with the five minute spell which allowed Ards their goal.
"It was a spell of pressure where we couldn't get out and if we had managed it better and kept it at two nil it would have been a more straightforward day.
"The boys are buzzing, they're all really enjoying the ride and it's brilliant where we're at.
"If anyone had have said to them at the start of the year that with six games to go they'd be two points off the top a lot of people wouldn't have believed it.
"It's about going and enjoying the ride and giving it everything you've got.
Meanwhile, Ards boss Colin Nixon rued his side's start as they conceded two goals in the opening 10 minutes.
"We'd talked about a good start and we didn't get it," Nixon said.
ARDS: Johnston, Glendinning, Byers, Taylor, Ruddy, Tommons (J Kelly, 67 mins), Cherry, Clarke, Frazer (Mitchell, 52 mins), Keke (McLellan, 81 mins), Stewart. Unused subs: Davidson, L Kelly.
COLERAINE: Johns, Kane, Smith (Harkin, 60 mins), Carson (Dooley, 77 mins), Burns (Bradley, 66 mins), McConaghie, Lyons, O'Donnell, Parkhill, Traynor, McGonigle. Unused Subs: Mullan, Douglas.
Referee: Andrew Davey (Bangor)
Man of the match: Brad Lyons
Match rating: 7/10