IRISH LEAGUE: Keke swoops for late winner as Ards secure precious win

Ards  Guillaume Keke'.
Ards Guillaume Keke'.

Guillaume Keke for Ards wrapped up the points for at wind-battered Bangor Fuels Arena with a 90th minute goal.

Warrenpoint held the lead for much of the game thanks to an early Darren Murrray strike, but second half goals from teenager Jonah Mitchell and French striker Keke gave Ards an invaluable win.

Storm Brian deserves top marks for trying to ruin this basement battle, with the howling wind and bitterly cold rain pelting down throughout the game.

The team shooting towards the walled end of the ground had the advantage in both halves, but in truth it made life difficult for both teams throughout the game.

It’s hard to know what Lithuanian referee Mr M. Lukjancukas made of it all, as both teams tried to utilise long shots and set-pieces.

The team of officials from the Eastern Europe are in Northern Ireland on a refereeing exchange programme.

While the wind dominated the game, Warrenpoint Town’s third minute goal was a well worked exercise, straight from the training ground.

A quick short corner from Josh Lynch found Darren Murray on the edge of the box and the striker’s low shot found the net, with the help of a deflection.

Ards had their best chance of the half in the 34th minute when teenage striker Ben Arthurs headed a corner-kick towards goal, but the ball was cleared off the line.

The Red & Blues found an equaliser 16 minutes into the seciond half. The Town failed to clear the ball with Ards piling on the pressure inside the area.

The ball dropped at the feet of Jonah Mitchell, and the teenager steered a shot into the bottom corner. It was Mitchell’s first senior goal, in his first Irish League start.

Ards thought they had a winner in the 80th minute when Kyle Cherry connected with a left-wing cross, but his header hit the outside of the post.

The winner arrived in the 90th minute. One long wind-assisted ball forward cut out the entire Warrenpoint defence.

Substitute Guillaume Keke latched onto the pass, sped through on goal and kept his cool to slot past Turker.

Ards: Johnston; Glendinning, Elebert, Taylor, Ruddy; Frazer, Tommons, Kelly (55 Cherry), McMillen (60 McAllister); Mitchell; Arthurs (73 Keke). Unused Subs: Byers, Hanley

Warrenpoint Town: Turker; Lynch (72 Forde), Moan, McGrandles, Wallace; Davidson (80 Roohi, TJ Murray, Mackle; McMenamin, D. Murray, S. Murray. Unused Subs: Blayney, Lyttle, M. Murray

Ref: M. Lukjancukas (Lithuania)