Disappointment for Warren Feeney and battling ards
ARDS manager Warren Feeney was disappointed with his team’s performance on Saturday, as they fell to their first defeat of his reign.
A first-half goal from Seanan Foster gave Warrenpoint Town a 1-0 win at the Bangor Fuels Arena, leaving Ards just one point ahead of basement side Newry City.
Reflecting on the defeat, Feeney said: “I can’t knock the lads’ effort, but the decision making all day was poor. We rushed things and struggled to create chances. There was no quality.
“We knew they would try and play football and we were prepared for that. We have had joy with our style of play in recent weeks, which is all about shape and discipline, but it didn’t happen for us today.
“We will move on from this, as we still have six massive games left to play. When we came in, we were three points behind and now we are one point ahead, so I can’t knock the players too much. But we need to do better.”
On Saturday, Ards face Crusaders in Bangor, in their last fixture before the split.
Looking ahead to the Crues clash, the former Northern Ireland striker said, “Crusaders are flying at the moment so no one will expect us to get anything.
“I will make sure the boys are up for it, but they should not need motivating because they’re playing the champions and you should want to prove yourself against the champions.
“We can’t think about what Newry are doing. We have to concentrate on ourselves.”
Meanwhile, Warrenpoint manager Stephen McDonnell believes Saturday’s win will give his side a confidence boost ahead of the Irish Cup semi-final.
Town face Ballinamallard United on Saturday March 30 in a historic cup semi-final and McDonnell wants them to be going into the tie brimming with confidence.
“We need to make sure we have some confidence going into the semi-final,” he said.
“We have lost too many league games in recent weeks, so I hope the Ards win will give us a lift.
“I actually think the win over Larne Tech Old Boys in the Irish Cup gave us a big lift. We have our swagger back now. We’re passing the ball with confidence and attacking with more purpose, something which was missing for a few weeks.
“But before the semi-final we have two league games, starting with Crusaders on Tuesday night.”
Reflecting on Saturday’s game, O’Donnell believes Town were worth their narrow win.
He explained, “If Ards won it was down to seven points, but this weekend’s results mean we are 13 clear of them and 14 clear of Newry. So it would take a ridiculous collapse for us to get hooked into the relegation battle, not that I’m taking anything for granted.
“We should have had the game wrapped up at half-time. We scored, missed a penalty, missed other chances and dominated possession.
“We made it difficult for ourselves, but I don’t think Jared Thompson was ever really worried. It was a good win for us because Feeney has revived Ards. I think they will make life difficult for everyone they play.”
Ards: Johnston; Kerr, Taylor, McNulty (90 Byers), McClean; J. Kelly (65 Bennett), Cherry, Tommons, D. McAllister (67 Henderson); M. Kelly, McLellan
Subs Not Used: Davidson, McAleenan, Smith, McCawl
Warrenpoint Town: Thomspon, Foster, Reilly, Wallace, M. Lynch, Kelly, Marques, Duffy (84 Hughes), Young (70 Moan), O’Connor (80 J. Lynch), Donnelly
Subs: Turker, McGrandles, Scannell, Copes
Ref: Jamie Robinson