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Nixon: Luck was on our side for a change

Ballinamallard United 0 Ards 2

By Gareth Cauldwell

Colin Nixon admits Ards rode their luck against 10 man Ballinamallard United before two goals in the final five minutes from Johnny Frazer and Michael McLellan sealed a vital win.

Despite being at a numerical disadvantage for the entire second half following the 44th-minute dismissal of striker Josh McIlwaine, bottom of the table Mallards looked the more likely winners but failed to take any of the chances they carved out and Ards went on to snatch victory.

"Ballinamallard really stuck in especially when they went down to 10 men and probably deserved something from the game. Maybe for once the luck was with us because it hasn't been all year. I'm not disputing we rode our luck and didn't play the free-flowing football that I know we can but we scored two good goals and I'm over the moon," said Nixon.

The win lifts Ards six points clear of the Mallards and Nixon accepted that despite it only being early in the season, both managers had pressure on them.

"I feel for Gavin, he is a good friend of mine and the pressure was on the two of us which is ridiculous nine matches in but that's the nature of this league," he said.

There is no doubt that the defeat was tough on Gavin Dykes and his side as they stay rooted to the foot of the table although he remained upbeat after the game.

"I thought we were the better side and we played really well, especially when we went down to ten men. We passed really well and we were brave in possession and on another day you win by two or three. I feel sorry for the players, they are gutted and I couldn't have asked any more of them.

"I thought to a man we were really good today and we'll take a lot of positives out of it," he said.

Next up for the Mallards is a home cup clash against Linfield on Tuesday night.

BALLINAMALLARD: Brush, McConnell (Hutchinson, 72 mins), McLaughlin, Taheny (Martyn, 89 mins), Clarke (Armstrong, 81 mins), McGinty, Leddy, Curran, Smyth, McIlwaine, McCartney.

ARDS: Hogg, Byers, Taylor, Elebert, Glendinning, Frazer, Cherry (Hanley, 10 mins), Tommons, McMillen (McAllister, 59 mins), Keke (McLellan, 68 mins), McComb.

Referee: Ian McNabb (Newtownabbey)

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