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Villagers hope for another upset after Copeland bags late winner

Loughgall 2-1 Ards

Dean Smith
Dean Smith

By Keith Bailie

Loughgall boss Dean Smith is hopeful his side can spring yet another Tennent's Irish Cup shock.

The Villagers have been handed a quarter-final trip to Glenavon after defeating Ards at Lakeview Park, where Gary Liggett and Ricky Copeland were on target.

"Glenavon will be a big ask for us because they are a top team with a great record in the Irish Cup but we are full of confidence at the moment," said Smith.

"Against Ards, I thought it was going to extra-time but big Ricky popped up with the winner in injury time. I was delighted for him because he has been a massive player for this club for years."

Ards opened the scoring thanks to a goal from Joshua Kelly after just 43 seconds, before their former striker Liggett equalised from the spot.

The Red and Blues disintegrated in the second period with Kyle Cherry, Michael Ruddy and Ross Clarke all red carded before Copeland's last-gasp winner.

Manager Colin Nixon said: "I'm not happy with the referee's decisions, which I felt changed the game, but we also didn't do enough ourselves.

"At 1-0 up we had chances to kill the game but we didn't take them."

LOUGHGALL: Buchanan, Montgomery, Copeland, Stewart, Ballard (Hoey, 80 mins), Mullan (McConnell, 70 mins), Dallas, Ferguson, Campbell, Ferris, Liggett. Unused subs: Neill, Stretton, Finlay, Robinson.

Ards: Johnston, Glendinning, Taylor, Byers, Ruddy, Clarke, Kelly, Cherry, McAllister (Hanley, 64 mins), Stewart (Davidson, 58 mins), Keke (McLellan, 70 mins). Unused subs: McIlmail, McAleenan, Hogg, Mitchell.

Referee: Steven Gregg (Ballyclare)

Man of the match: Ricky Copeland

Match rating: 8/10

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