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Ards manager to assess options after Glentoran defeat

Ards 1 Glentoran 3

By Keith Bailie

Ards manager Colin Nixon says he will assess his options after his side lost 3-1 to his old club Glentoran at the Bangor Fuels Arena.

A Stephen O’Flynn double strike handed the Glens an early 2-0 lead, before Kevin Bradley pulled a goal back for Ards, but an injury time strike from Curtis Allen put the game beyond doubt.

 Glens legend Nixon said: “I wasn’t going to sign any new players in the window but after tonight I will have to do something, because we are letting in too many soft goals. Yes, we had pressure in the second half, but I think the game really passed us by.”

Glentoran manager Gary Haveron said: “I’m delighted with the win and the performance. Ards put us under some pressure in the second half but I felt that our defence dealt with it really well. Elliott Morris didn’t have a save to make in the second half.

“We deserved the win due to our excellent start to the game."

 Glentoran came charging out of the blocks, creating a chance in the opening 10 seconds. Striker Curtis Allen fired a 20-yard volley just past the post as Ards failed to deal with a ball into the box. It was a sign of things to come.

 In the 12th minute Stephen O’Flynn found a yard of space outside the area, controlling a clearance on his chest before firing a low half volley past Ards goalkeeper Aaron Hogg and into the bottom corner from around 20 yards.

 Glentoran almost scored in the 17th minute. A dangerous Ross Redman free-kick was header an inch over the bar by the dangerous O’Flynn.

 The former Derry City striker had his second goal in the 19th minute. Ards failed to clear a left-wing cross with Emmet Friars’ clearing header, only reaching O’Flynn. Again, the striker control the ball before firing a half-volley past Hogg from inside the area. Gary Haveron’s men were well worth their two goal advantage.

 But Ards found a way back into the game in the the 34th minute. With Glentoran unable to successfully clear their lines, defender Kevin Bradley hit an in-swinging cross from the right-flank that evaded everybody, before nestling in the back of the net. It was a stroke of fortune the Reds & Blues desperately required.

 If their goal had a hint of good fortune about it, Ards were desperately unlucky in the 39th minute. Winger Carl McComb curled a 20-yard free-kick around the wall. The low strike hit the inside of the post and rebounded away from danger.

 In first half stoppage time, a fine counter attack from a Glentoran corner almost lead to an Ards equaliser. David McAllister carried the ball down the left-flank before hitting the area with a cross. It was nodded out of the area, but Gareth Tommons fired the rebound towards the target. Only a fine save from Morris, who got down low to hold the ball, maintained Glentoran’s lead at the break.

 In the second half, Ards pushed hard for an equaliser but Colin Nixon’s men were unable to create a genuine goalscoring opportunity. Set-pieces and crosses zipped around the Glentoran area, but it was nothing either Elliott Morris or his defence couldn’t deal with.

 With Ards pushing for an equaliser, the Glens picked them off on the counter-attack in second half stoppage time. Aaron Hogg parried an Aaron Harmon shot, which allowed Curtis Allen to score from close range.

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