FOOTBALL: Ards crush Glenavon to book place in last eight of Bet McLean League Cup

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Ards booked their place in the quarter-finals of the Bet McLean League Cup with a comprehensive 4-0 win over a lackluster Glenavon at the Bangor Fuels Arena.

The Red & Blues put Glenavon to the sword courtesy of a brace from Jonny Frazer, a penalty from Michael Ruddy and a stoppage time tap in from Guillaume Keke.

Both Gary Hamilton and Colin Nixon made a series of changes from Saturday, with one eye on this weekend’s fixtures. Nixon gave a first start to teenage forwards Jonah Mitchell and Ben Arthurs, with fellow Under 20s star Joshua Kelly starting in midfield.

The Red & Blues grabbed a surprised lead in the 26th minute as they launched another attack. The lively Ben Arthurs ran down the right-flank before pulling the ball back for his young team mate Jonah Mitchell. Mitchell was clipped by Glenavon defender Caolan Marron. Left-back Michael Ruddy stepped up to the mark and slotted his spot kick high into the net. It was the defender second goal since returning from a broken foot earlier this month.

Ards extended their five minutes later. The speedy Jonny Frazer burst clear of the Glenavon offside trap, kept his cool, and slotted the ball between the legs of the advancing James Taylor.

Unimpressed with his team’s first half display, Gary Hamilton introduced the experienced figures of Mark Patton and Andrew Hall, with the aim of reinvigorating the Lurgan Blues.

However, it made little difference. Ards added to their lead in the 72nd minute when Glenavon failed to clear a bouncing ball. Brave winger Jonny Taylor rose above James Taylor to send a looping header into the air and over the line from inside the area.

The Red & Blues added a fourth goal in stoppage when Glenavon failed to clear a corner-kick. French forward Guillaume Keke was on hand to turn the ball home with his right foot from inside the six-yard box.

The shock 4-0 win sends Ards into the last eight of the Bet McLean League Cup and gives them a lift ahead of Friday’s crucial Danske Bank Premiership encounter with Warrenpoint Town, which will also be held in Bangor.

Ards: Johnston; Glendinning, Taylor, Byers, Ruddy; Frazer (82 McLellan), Tommons, Kelly, McMillen; Mitchell (86 McAleenan) Arthurs (75 Keke)

Unused Subs: Hall, Hanley

Glenavon: Taylor; Marshall, Marron, Doyle, Singleton; Daniels (HT Hall), McGrory, Burns, Foley (HT Patton); Griffin, Jenkins (63 McCavitt)

Unused subs: O’Mahoney, Norton

Ref: Keith Kennedy