David McAllister’s own goal on 17 minutes cost Ards an unbeaten start to the season and sole position at the top of the table as Glenavon moved level with the Danske Bank Premiership leaders.
A wicked deflection off McAllister during an attempted Ards clearance proved decisive at Mourneview Park.
Glenavon entered the match smarting from a weekend 4-0 defeat by Linfield and started with pace and energy in a bid to bounce back.
Joel Cooper’s corner-kick delivery from the right was headed against the crossbar by a powerful Simon Kelly effort inside the opening minutes.
The loose ball eventually dropped for Greg Moorhouse but his shot cleared the crossbar.
Eoin Bradley then latched on to a misplaced Johnny Taylor pass and released Mark Sykes but the Ards backline managed to regroup in time to block the young prospect’s shot.
Ards’ main attacking threat arrived from Guillaume Keke as the bustling forward had Glenavon on the backfoot at times.
The combination of Cooper and Kelly came close again to breaking the deadlock but the former’s free-kick was headed wide.
Carl McComb clipped the top of the crossbar before the break then had two quickfire attempts after the interval but Glenavon scrambled to block the danger.
Andrew Doyle headed wide, Aaron Hogg produced a superb reaction save to deny Ciaran Martyn and Bradley poked wide from a late one-on-one.
GLENAVON: Tuffey, Kelly, Kilmartin, Cooper, Bradley, Patton, Sykes, Doyle, McGrory, Moorhouse, Martyn. Subs: Hamilton (Moorhouse, 56), Lindsay, Hall, Burns, Bates.
ARDS: Hogg, Hall, Friars, Taylor, McCullough, Cherry, McAllister, McMillen, Keke, Ruddy, McComb. Subs: Arthurs, Tommons (McCullough, 54), Hughes (McMillen, 68), McMullan (Friars, 64), McAuley.