Ards promotion celebrations on hold

Knockbreda celebrate after scoring to make it 1-0 through Andrew Ferguson.
Knockbreda celebrate after scoring to make it 1-0 through Andrew Ferguson.

There were no title celebrations at Breda Park for Ards last night.

The Red & Blues required just a draw against Knockbreda to secure both the Championship One title and promotion to the Danske Bank Premiership. However, two early goals from Knockbreda defenders Andrew Ferguson and Kyle Owens handed the home side a 2-0 victory, as the Red & Blues turned in a desperately poor performance in front of a large travelling support.

Ards will face Loughgall at the Bangor Fuels Arena tomorrow knowing that a draw is enough to secure promotion. If they lose, however, Harland & Wolff Welders could leapfrog them by beating already-relegated Bangor, at Tillysburn.

A disappointed Currie said: “There won’t be any fear on Saturday. I just want to see a much better performance than I did against Knockbreda. It looked like an end of season game for us, when we should have been fighting for everything.

“We have to show desire, enthusiasm and a lot more appetite than we showed tonight. We are lucky that we have another chance now to get over the line.”

Ards were undone in the fifth minute when a David McMaster corner-kick caused confusion in the box. Andrew Ferguson reacted quickly, drilling the ball into the net from close range.

The second goal was the result of another set-piece. A wicked Stephen Cockcroft free-kick was powered home by the head of the impressive Kyle Owens, who delivered a finish his brother Jordan would have been proud of.

Ards had chances in the second half, with Jordan Baker, John Convery and Gary Browne all going close, but in truth, Knockbreda were well worth their 2-0 home win.

Knockbreda; McKay; King, Ferguson, Owens, Cockcroft; McMaster, McCain, Johnson, Hanna; Halliday Wilson. Subs: Burns, Gibson, Hughes, Johnston, Templeton

Ards: Brown; Hall, Gage, Convery, Lambe; McCullough, Arthurs, Dorrian; Baker, O’Neill, McComb. Subs: G.Browne, Boyd, D.McAllister, B. Browne, Cully

Referee: Paul Burns