Paul McElroy’s goal proved decisive as Dungannon Swifts defeated Ards on Saturday by a single goal at Stangmore Park.
“I don’t think the scoreline is a fair reflection of the game - we could have scored more,” said Dungannon Swifts boss Rodney McAree. “We had a bit of luck today which we didn’t have in the last few games.
“It looked like it was going to be one of those days when we missed numerous chances.
“Johnny Lafferty’s header hits the post, if it’s half an inch the other way it goes in off the post.
“Then they get a penalty, but fortunately Stuart Addis has saved it.
“It was hard-earned, we had to persevere, we had to keep going and keep plugging away.
“Thankfully, Paul McElroy has come up trumps and scored a good goal for us.
“The result gives everyone a huge lift.
“It’s another clean sheet, we’ve kept a few recently and we need to build on this.
“When it went 1-0, for the 15 or so minutes towards the end we got a little bit nervous, which was to be expected.
“We now have Crusaders in the League Cup semi-final on Tuesday night.
“We know it’s a big challenge, they are an extremely good side, but it’s a chance to reach a cup final and we have to look forward to it.”
Ards boss Colin Nixon felt frustrated at his side’s performance - and over a rejected penalty appeal.
“It was a very disappointing result and performance, I don’t think we ever got going,” he said. “It wasn’t one of our better performances, which is strange because we’ve been doing so well recently.
“I really don’t know where it came from - we just huffed and puffed.
“The penalty should have got us back in the game but we couldn’t take advantage, and on the day we just didn’t play as well as we could.
“I felt we should have had a second penalty.
“Michael McLellan went up to head the ball into the net and two players clatter in to him, I think the whole ground thought it was a penalty.
“But, overall, we weren’t on it as much as we have been recently.
“We’ve been good at pressing teams and working hard, but today we just drifted through the game.
“Yes, we’d a few chances and you could argue we could have scored, but we didn’t.
“I don’t think we pushed enough in the second half for the equaliser.
“It was a massive chance for us to move above Dungannon in the table and we haven’t taken it.
“I am just so disappointed with our performance.”