Ards (H)

1st Team
Friendly
Sat 9th Jul - 3:00pm
L
1-2
Nixon
Wakehurst 1-2 Ards 
 
Wakehurst came into their second pre-season game after a battling 2-2 draw with Amateur 1C side 18th Newtownabbey - managed by former Linfield striker Mark Miskimmin - the previous Saturday with Aaran Weir and Caolan Loughran on target.

This game against Premier League opposition started off as would be expected with Ards having the lions' share of possession but could not find a way past an extremely well organised Wakehurst team who were relentless in their pressing and hassling of their illustrious opponents.

Stewart Nixon was unlucky on the edge of the box when Wakehurst hit the visitors on the counter, the young striker beat one man but the ball got stuck underneath his foot when well placed.

Wakehurst were constantly pushing Ards back and not allowing them to play and their first real chance came in the 34th minute as Johnny Taylor played in former Cliftonville and Larne striker Gillaume Keke who pulled his shot just wide.

Another counter attack by Wakehurst resulted in trialist Ryan Bamber playing Peter Adams in behind the Ards defence, Adams whipped in the cross which Andy Laughlin was unlucky not to connect with.

On the stroke of half time, Ards were awarded a free kick on the edge of the box and Micheal Ruddy put it into the roof of the net giving 'keeper Andy Findlay no chance as the half time whistle blew straight after the restart. 
 
As the second half commenced, Wakehurst started the brighter of the two teams and they were constantly asking questions of the Ards defence.

'Hurst were awarded a free kick on the 65th minute which Kurtis McCartney whipped in and striker Stewart Nixon rose above the Ards defence to power a header into the top corner from 12 yards- which in truth, was nothing more than the home side deserved after a dogged performance so far.

For the final 15 minutes, the game went from end to end as both teams looked for the winner.

On the 89th minute, Ards - similar to the first half - scored at the death to get the winner but an absolutely top class performance against a team three divisions higher in the football pyramid.
 
Both teams are away to play Glentoran Reserves and Under 19s next Saturday in their preparations for the league campaign.
 
Starting Team: Findlay, McCartney(c), McClure, Swann, Ross, Logan, Bamber, Laughlin, Weir, P.Adams, Nixon.
 
Subs: D.Adams, Brady,Price,Campbell, Alexander