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Nixon pays tribute to Ards' commitment in consecutive victories

Ards 1 Carrick Rangers 0

By Keith Bailie

Ards manager Colin Nixon praised his players after they claimed their second win of the festive period.

The Red and Blues added to Saturday's 2-1 victory over Ballinamallard United by seeing off Carrick Rangers thanks to Scott Davidson's strike.

"It's a fantastic feeling to claim back-to-back victories," said Nixon. "I think the players deserve all the credit because they have kept themselves right over the Christmas period and they have given me everything. These were two important, hard-fought wins."

Ards made a lively start with Michael McLellan firing over the bar after a knock-down from Davidson in the 14th minute.

They made the breakthrough on the half-hour mark. Two Carrick defenders collided underneath a clipped ball, which allowed Davidson to turn a shot past Harry Doherty from close range.

Carrick appealed for a penalty in the 49th minute when Eamonn McAllister was pulled back by Michael Ruddy and, a minute later, McAllister forced Sam Johnston into a good save.

The visitors saw the game out with 10 men when Mark Clarke hobbled off after David McAlinden had deployed all three subs, while Ards could have been a man light after Johnny Taylor kicked out in the 83rd minute.

Referee Shane Andrews, however, only produced a yellow card and did likewise when Carrick's Daniel Larmour collided with Josh Kelly in stoppage time.

Ards: Johnston, Glendinning, Taylor, Elebert, Ruddy, Davidson, Tommons (Cherry, 59 mins) , Kelly, McAllister, Mitchell (Arthurs, 15 mins), McLellan. Unused subs: Hanley, McAleenan

Carrick: Doherty, Chapman, Larmour, McNally, Edgar, Roy (Suarez, 57 mins), Surgenor (Clarke, 74 mins), Hassin, McAllister (Gage, 74 mins), Smyth, Mooney. Unused subs: Maybin, Morrow.

Referee: Shane Andrews (Comber)

Man of the match: Michael McLellan

Match rating: 3/10

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