After a two week brake, we were back in action against Donegal Celtic at Londonderry Park with an 11.15am kick off.
At this point on I am solely going to take about the boys and the football not the melee that took place after the match that is for the League to deal with.
We were without Joel Hill at centre back through injury, so again we had to shuffle the defence with Captain Brandon McFerran stepping inside is normal position to partner midfielder Matthew Guest in the centre of our defence, Stuart Hannah going back into right back where he has played before and Jordan Mulholland in his usually position of left back. Reece Atkinson was back in his usual role in Centre midfield with Noah Crenshaw on his left and Edward Muldrew on his right. On the wings were the two ever present players in these positions, Marcus Baron on the left & Ryan Hannah on the right and up front in his first start since joining the team was young Ben Appleton. On the bench was Rhys Mackie only as we still struggle to get boys back from injuries.
The boys got off to a good start and looked hungry for a win, within 5 minutes Noah came close to scoring only to see his shot go wide and another chance came from a corner from Matthew Guest when Reece Atkinson headed just over. In the 15th minute Ryan Hannah hit his shot straight at the keeper and Brandon McFerran hit one from 20 yards out but went wide of the goal. Surely with all this first half pressure we would get the goal we deserved. Ben Appleton seemed to in distress so he was replaced by Rhys Mackie. We finally broke the deadlock a minute from half time when we were awarded a free kick 30 yards out Matthew floated the ball into the box and the defence couldn’t clear it properly as it fell to Noah Crenshaw on the half volley and he rattled it into the back of the net to put us one up.
Half Time: 1 : 0
We started the second half very sharply and within four minutes doubled our lead when Reece Atkinson pick out the run of Edward Muldrew and from 20 yards out Eddie lobbed it over the keeper into the net 2. 0 to the RABA. We where well in control of the match but couldn’t add to our tally even though we had several chances. Then out of the blue Donegal Celtic broke forward a timely tackle from Stuart Hannah seemed to stop the thread at the expense of a corner. From the corner we just couldn’t clear our line as the ball bobbled about in the box the Donegal Celtic player poke out a foot and the ball trickled into the back of the net to make it 2 : 1 with 16 minutes still to play. This seemed to lift Donegal Celtic as the pushed forward in numbers again Stuart Hannah got in a blocking tackle at the expense of another corner kick (Stuart was having a great game at right back) the corner came over and Matthew Guest got to the ball first only for him to turn it into his own net 2 : 2 with 13 minutes to play. This didn’t seem fare as the boys had controlled the game for most of the match but Ards lifted their heads and went in search of the winner. Then in the 62nd minute Ards would get themselves back in front, Brandon McFerran would be the provider when he won a tackle just inside the Donegal Celtic half he skipped through the midfield into the box danced past three defenders only to be hauled down inside the box and the Referee pointed to the spot. Up stepped our regular penalty taker Reece Atkinson who hasn’t missed from the spot and he coolly slotted the ball into the bottom left had corner of the net to put us back in front 3 : 2 RABA. That was that the boys seen out the remainder of the match to win but we couldn’t have done it without the man of the match performance of Jai Sykes in our goals sporting his new hair cut, he pulled of at least five excellent saves in the second half which spurred the boys on to victory.
Full Time: 3 : 2
I will not go into detail about what happened after the match but I will say that i’am totally discussed at what unfolded. I would like to say to my boys well played you were the better team and thourghly deserved your win. Also I would like to say how proud i’am of you all for the way you all conducted yourselves after the match under such provocation and also a big thank you to the parents who also show calm and support for the boys and made us all proud to be Ards Youth.
Robbie Mc Garry(Coach)
Boys showed that football wins ever time great team display and you can all hold your heads up high Ards Youth 3 V Donegal Celtic 2
Jeremy Bell(Club Secretary)
Well done everyone, players especially, but supporters too, for maintaining their discipline in the face of such provocation. Proud as ever to be Ards Youth.
Nice we win the day for our boys well done lads brilliant performance and kept your cool high 5 :-)
That was an entertaining Saturday morning match, Ards Youth 15's vs. Donegal Celtic, 3 - 2 to Ards, dirty football by some DC boys and Ards not biting back, then scraps after the match, DC managers need to conduct themselves and they're team in a dignified way, does not reflect well on DC or managers or youth football...so catch a grip...teams like you give football a bad name..! Rant over.....!!
Unfortunately I wasn’t there but disgusted at what I’ve heard. Fantastic that the Ref personally commended our boys on their performance. Says it all. Well done lads always proud of ALL of your determination and performance. The better team has prevailed today so that’s what counts.