We were on our way to played away to Greencastle at Three Mile Water. The rain was gone and the sun was getting out but it was a very heavy pitch.
After last weeks disappointment the boys were out to get back to playing football and winning ways. Right from the first whistle they showed their intent. Noah Crenshaw &Ryan Hannah took centre we passed the ball about quickly and with in the 1st minute we got our first attempt on goal which came from Jordan Mulholland as he went up on the left, Stuart Hannah played the ball to him and he let a shot of from 22 yards out which whizzed over the crossbar. A minute later and we went in front, again some nice passing football saw Rory send over a ball to the far side of the Greencastle box which was met by Stuart Hannah and he made no mistake in putting the ball in the net; 0 : 1 Ards. Four minutes later Stuart Hannah grabbed his and our second again coming from the Right from Rory Nelson he sent over a cross that was headed clear but Stuart gathered it on the edge of the box skipped past the defender and fired a right foot shot in to the top corner of the net; 0 : 2 Ards. The boys were up for this and were giving Greencastle a torrid time. Two minutes later and another chance fell to Jordan Mulholland who his ids shot from 25 yards out but it went just wide of the far post. In the 12th minute it was Captain Noah Crenshaw's turn to get a shot away but his shot went wide as well. A minute later saw Reece Atkinson, Travis Jamison combine to set up Brandon McFerran who let ripped from 22 yards out but it went straight at the keeper. Another opportunity came our way again in the 17th minute when Reece Atkinson found Ryan Hannah in the box, Ryan took a touch then hit a shot but it was blocked by the Greencastle defender. Greencastle were limited to set pieces That the Defense and our keeper Jai Sykes was coping with well. Greencastle's first decent effort came in the 21st minute when they were awarded a free kick on the edge of our box, Jai set his was up and the Greencastle player hit the ball past the wall but Jai had it covered and held on to the ball well. Greencastle pulled a goal back in the 22nd minute all be it against the run of play when again the were awarded a free kick, the ball was sent over and Jai got a hand on it but flicked it on to Brandon's back and it ended up in the net; 1 : 2 Ards. For the next five minutes the goal seemed to give Greencastle a lease of life and a fierce shot hit from distance hit of the top of the crossbar and Jai had to be alert a minute later when a corner came over and a Greencastle payer got a head on it but Jai was there to pull of a top notch save. We lifted up our game again in the 28th minute as we pushed forward and earned a corner, Reece Atkinson sent over the corner as it dropped in the middle of the box Travis Jamison reacted to it the quickest but was leaning back as he shot and it went over the crossbar. Two minutes later again from another corner the ball was swung in by Reece Atkinson and was met by the head of Noah Crenshaw but again it went just over the crossbar. In the 34th minute we regained our two goal lead with a smashing goal, with Rory Nelson & Reece Atkinsonworking well down the right Reece sent in a low ball that Ryan Hannah run on to flicking it with his heal in to the net; 1 : 3 Ards. Greencastle would have the final say on the stroke of half time with a long range effort from 25 yards out but Jai Sykes was well alert and pulled of another comfortable.
HALF TIME; 1 : 3
The half time team talk was all about played and supporting each other and keep the pressure on Greencastle.
We started the second half the same as the first creating a chance in the 1st minute, Rory Nelsonwon the ball just outside the box were he let fly but his shot went just wide of the near post. Then in the 48th minute we were awarded a free kick about 27 yards out, Reece Atkinson stepped up but hit his effort just over the crossbar. A minute later and Ryan Hannah hit a shot just wide, then another attempt by Noah Crenshaw was hit well towards the top corner but the Greencastle pulled of a fantastic save to flick it over his crossbar. In the 59th minute we grabbed our fourth when the ball fell to Brandon McFerran inside the box he smashed the ball in to the back of the net; 1 : 4 Ards. Then a minute later our next chance fell to Rory Nelson as he weaved his way past the Greencastle players letting of a shot from the edge of the box but again the keeper pull of a great save. Even though we were in control of the match there was always the fear that we would get complaisant and let Greencastle in, and we did just that in the 64th minute when Jack Patterson tripped the Greencastle player up in the box the Referee rightly pointed to the spot, but with Jai Sykes in goals he is renound for saving penalty's and that's what he did getting up to is top right hand corner and pushing the ball over the bar. This just spurred Ards on again and for the last 13 minutes of the match we laid siege on the Greencastle goal. The first attempt came in the 67th minute when Stuart Hannah ( looking for his hat-trick ) burst in to the box but the keeper came race out to save at his feet. The next came a minute later when Ryan McKittrick hit a shot from the edge of the box but it went wide. In the last three minutes of the match Ards had four good chances to add to their goal tally, the first was a superb over head kick from Stuart Hannah but the keeper managed to tip it round his post. It was Stuart again a minute later with a header that went wide. A minute from time Jordan Mulholland hit a screamer from 26 yards out but it also went wide. Then on the stroke of full time Ryan Hannah saw his shot from 25 yards out go wide.
FULL TIME; 1 :4
A far better performance than last week but we were still not at top gear. A solid back four done exceptionally well and Jai Sykes in goals we knew we were in safe hand. Well played everyone so lets keep pushing boys and the results will come.