Spike Hill’s Glentoran Seconds rocked Ards with a sensational 3-0 victory over pre-match favourites Ards, in Christmas Day’s Steel & Sons Cup Final.
Ards had much of the play, but the incisive, high-tempo counter-attacking football of Glentoran Seconds tore Niall Currie’s side apart. Woeful Ards squandered numerous first half chances before collapsing under the weight of the wee Glens attack late in the game.
Experienced forward Richard Gibson lead the line with expertise, scoring two great headers, while Newtownards born youngster Steven Gordon scored the crucial second goal.
Ards started brightly, playing some superb intricate football, but to little avail. In the tenth minute Ben Browne, set-up Neil Dougan, whose 12 yard shot was collected by Aaron Hogg.
In the 26th minute Browne collected the ball from Dougan, before curling the ball just wide from 20 yards.
Glentoran Seconds’ first genuine chance of the arrived when Ards ‘keeper Graeme McKibbin punched a free-kick into the path of Daniel Burns, whose hook shot from 20 yards just went over the Ards crossbar.
Hill’s Glens took the lead in the 38th minute when Richard Gibson diverted a powerful Stephen McCullough shot-come-cross into the net with his head. Gibson’s powerful header found the net from 10 yards.
Ards pushed for an equaliser in the second half but ultimately they were suffocated by Glentoran Seconds, who refused to allow Ards to play at their usual tempo.
The second goal arrived in the 85th minute a came courtesy of some good team-work that left Steven Gordon to complete the job with a low drive into McKibbin’s net.
Glentoran Seconds scored their third goal of the game when captain Samuel McIlveen’s corner was headed in by the dominate Gibson at the back post. The former Coleraine man gave Ards aerial problems all day.
Gibson’s third completed a stunning 3-0 win for the underdogs and left Ards’ 14 match unbeaten run record in tatters, in what was a utterly humiliating experience for the club.
Ards : McKibbin, Hall (66 D.Cully), Pike. Spence, Nixon, McMillen (54 K. McDowell), Browne, J.Cully, Moffatt (64 P.McDowell), Arthurs, Dougan
Subs Not Used : Dickson, Doyle
Glentoran Seconds : Hogg, Bradley, McCullough, Gordon, Chisanga (73 Stewart), McKinney, Thompson, McIlveen, Burns (85 Kerr), Gibson (89 Patton), McComb
Subs Not Used :Smith, Dawson
Referee : Keith Kennedy