A home tie yet again saw us travel over the hill to Billy Neills on a wet soggy morning for a very early 9am K.O. in an Ards Borough Derby.
On a wet damp early Saturday morning we looked as though we were all thinking about our nice warm beds as we never seemed to want to get into this match at all.
Comber took an early lead in the second minute with a lovely half volley inside our box when our defence was still trying to find the on button; 0 : 1 The Rec. We still looked lacklustre as Comber were looking menacing. Our first shot at goal came in the 11th minute when Ryan McKittrick hit a long effort from 22 yards but it sailed over the crossbar. Comber were winning every first ball in midfield and were causing us all sorts of problems and they came close in the 13th minute but Jai Sykes pulled of a comfortable save. Then in the 20th minute it was Jai to the rescue again when Comber broke through our defence and went one on one with Jai he was off his line quickly making himself big and pulling of the save. Two minutes later we managed to get ourselves forward and the chance fell to Travis Jamison but his shot was saved by the comber keeper. In the 31st minute our best chance of the half fell to Ryan McKittrick when Reece Atkinson sent over a cross to the far post which was met by Ryan but put his effort just wide from an acute angle. Jai Sykes would be the talk of the first half as it was dominated by Comber and Jai would show why he's one of the best in the league. In the 36th minute Comber again got one on one with Jai but again he was quick of his like to save at the feet of the Comber forward and again two minutes later he would pull of another wonderful save at his near post to yet again deny Comber who could have easily went in at half time five up, a poor first half for Ards. HALF TIME; 0 : 1
Instructions were simple at half time, first half was not good enough and we all know we can play a lot better so go and do it.
Before we started the second half we were forced into making a sub as Jordan Mulholland had taken a heavy knock to his ankle, so Stuart Hannah came on who has be recovering from an injury much the same as Jordan's. Stuart went into his normal left wing position and Ryan McKittrick slotted back to left back where he has play before and done well. We started the second half a lot better and in spells all be it we were looking much better. Nine minutes into the second half we got awarded a free kick 25 yards out on the right but Reece Atkinson hit his shot straight into the wall. Then two minutes came our best chance off the match when Reece Atkinson sent over the corner there seemed to be a mix up at the far post and the ball fell to Travis Jamison who stabbed the ball towards the net but it was cleared of the line. In the 53rd minute Brandon McFerran hit a trade mark shot from about 22 yards out but the comber keeper saved it well. In the 55th minute came the sucker punch that knocked the wind out of our sails, Comber grabbed a second; 0 : 2 The Rec. This seemed to deflate the boys as they had started the second half well but the remainder of the match was none event full. FULL TIME; 0 : 2
Firstly I have to say well done to Comber Rec who deserved their win and to my boys its very simple you all know you can play a lot better than you did in this match. A big well done has to go to Jai Sykes specially for his first half performance that kept us in the game and good luck in the afternoon with the U19's as he plays his first match at Senior level, along with Reece Atkinson who also has been called up good luck boys.