Fans vent their fury at Haveron as Ards raid Oval once again
By Alex Mills
Ards hadn’t won at The Oval for 30 years until November 2017 — now they can’t stop.
For the second time this season, the County Down side left east Belfast with a smile on their faces.
The fact that they had lost their last four games didn’t matter, nor did the fact that they had shipped 10 goals in their last two league games — they produced a display of passion and commitment.
Guillaume Keke fired them into the lead early in the second half, but it was a horrible own goal by Elliott Morris that guaranteed Colin Nixon’s men three crucial points. Although Curtis Allen pulled a goal back, the Glens were left down and out.
It was the signal for the fans to vent their anger. A mob gathered outside the players’ entrance after the final whistle. And, not for the first time, manager Gary Haveron was jeered off.
After soaking up early pressure, Ards made an impression for the first time on 22 minutes when Reece Glendinning’s cross was met by Jonah Mitchell, who could only direct his free header over the crossbar.
Glentoran then carved out the best chance of the half on 27 minutes when James Knowles whipped in a cross from the right. Allen was first to react, but his downward header bounced off the turf and over the bar.
Then, in another lightning raid, Ross Redman’s cross was punched clear by Sam Johnston, but the ball fell for Alex O’Hanlon on the edge of the box and he could only screw his shot wide.
With the visitors visibly growing in confidence, striker Cameron Stewart — who is on loan from Linfield — could only direct a header over the bar before Keke curled a 20-yard drive just past the Glentoran post.
But the small pocket of visiting fans were celebrating on 59 minutes after that Keke effort. He picked up a flick from Kyle Cherry and, after cutting in from the left, smashed home a stunning drive.
The visitors almost struck again with Keke getting onto a cross from Mitchell only to see his low drive pushed away at the base of the post by Morris.
When David McAllister whipped over the corner, Morris appeared to save cleanly — but he somehow managed to drop the ball over the line, an error that will give him nightmares.
Allen then reduced the deficit with 12 minutes remaining when he burst through the middle to finish smartly with Johnston rushing off his line.
Johnston then produced a wonder save to keep out a 20-yard free-kick from Knowles when O’Hanlon was hauled down by Johnny Taylor.