Comrades undone by late Ards goal

Ballyclare Comrades suffered their first league defeat of the 2022/23 season, losing 2-1 away to Ards on Friday (August 26).

The home side came into the game on the back of two losses, (Loughgall 5-0 and Annagh United 2-1), while Ballyclare had only dropped two points from their first three games- an opening day 0-0 draw with Ballinamallard.

Ross Hunter pounced on a defensive mistake and opened the scoring for Matthew Tipton’s side with just over a minute played at Clandeboye Park, his first goal in the red and blue of Ards.

Calvin McCurry scored his third goal of the month after latching onto a Kyle Beggs pass to lob keeper Alex Moore and draw the tie level with eight minutes played in the second half.

Calvin McCurry found the net for Ballyclare.

Former Linfield player Eamon Scannell ensured all three points would be staying in north Down when he found the net with just over five minutes left to play under the floodlights in Bangor.

The result sees the Comrades drop to fourth in the early Lough 41 NIFL Championship standings. Ards have climbed to sixth.

Commenting on social media after the match, a spokesperson for the south Antrim outfit said: “The Comrades lose out by the odd goal in three tonight, despite another positive performance.“Calvin McCurry has made a great start to the season, scoring three goals in the first month. Keep it up Calvin.”

Ballyclare enjoyed wins over Dergview (3-0) and Dundela (2-0) before Friday’s loss. The goals scored by Ards were the first the south Antrim side conceded this season.

Stephen Small’s charges entertain fifth-placed Knockbreda at Dixon Park this Saturday (September 3) at 3pm.

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Ards: Moore, Young, Crane, Hall, Taylor, Calderwood, Arthurs, McAllister, McKendry, Hunter, Murray subs Craughwell (not used), Scannell (replaced McAllister 30), Jallow (replaced Arthurs 69), Mullen (replaced Crane 80), McVeigh (not used), Brown (replaced Young 69), Reynolds (replaced Hunter 69).

Ballyclare Comrades: Purcell, McGuinness, McConville, McKim, McGrandles, Hassin, McCurry, Roohi, Fletcher, Adair, Farren subs Breen (not used), Tully (replaced Roohi 75), Wylie (not used), Beggs (replaced McKim 25), Curran (replaced Farren 75), Higgins (replaced McGrandles 87), Johnston (not used).