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Nixon left baffled by red card as Ards earn new boss a point

Coleraine 1 Ards 1

By Keith Thomas

Colin Nixon is back in the big time and discovering that nothing has changed.

Referees still make contentious decisions and defensive lapses lead to goals.

His first game at the helm with Ards ended dramatically with defender Johnny Taylor's late red card.

Nixon said: "I wasn't expecting a card at the end. It was a shock.

"Johnny said something stupid to the ref when he failed to award us a corner and it all got a little silly after that.

"We were unlucky not to have taken all three points because we never stopped working hard and hit the post near the end."

Despite watching his side throw away a first half lead and fail to halt a run of six games without a win, the former defender enjoyed his Premiership return.

"It's great to be back in the top flight with bigger crowds and a bit of a buzz," he said.

"I'm impressed with the way the players responded and the commitment they showed."

David McAllister opened the scoring but Coleraine, who suffered midweek defeat to Ballymena, levelled via Brad Lyons.

Bannsiders boss Oran Kearney said: "I think the cup semi-final took a lot out of my players, but I am pleased with how they fought back."

Coleraine: Johns, Kane, Douglas, Ogilby, McCauley, McCafferty, Brown (Mullan, 46 mins), Lyons, Parkhill, McGonigle, Allan. Unused subs: Kee, McConaghie, Edgar, Doherty.

Ards: Hogg, Hall, Friars, Taylor, Ruddy, Tommons (McComb, 86 mins), Arthurs (Keke, 62 mins), McMillen, McKinney, McAllister (Hughes, 52 mins), McCullough. Unused subs: McMullan, Brennan.

Referee: Neil Robinson (Portadown)

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