Michael McLellan (08)

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Ards boss Warren Feeney guided his side to a crucial three points (©INPHO/Declan Roughan)

ARDS EDGE AWAY FROM AUTOMATIC DROP

Ards gave their hopes of surviving the automatic drop with a narrow victory over Dungannon Swifts.

Warren Feeney's side hold a three point advantage over fellow strugglers Newry City going into the final day of the campaign with, perhaps crucially, a slightly superior goal difference to their credit too.

Ards moved in front after just eight minutes when Gareth Tommons sent over a ball from the right towards the far post for Michael McLellan to volley low beyond Evan Moran.

And they might have doubled their advantage around the half-hour mark when Josh Kelly just failed to get a strong enough connection to a ball played towards the back post.

Dungannon came close to levelling in first half stoppage time when Ally Teggart's cross was met at the near post by Michael Carvill but his downward header was well kept out by Ards keeper Sam Johnston.

The Swifts enjoyed plenty of possession for much of the second half but, in truth, neither keeper was really tested.

In the latter stages of the game a goalmouth scramble almost led to a Dungannon equaliser but Johnston was on hand to deny Carvill again while, soon after, Ben Gallagher fizzed a ball across the area with no-one able to connect.

The visitors had one last chance right at the end when Jarlath O'Rourke's right-foot effort from point blank range went over.

Ards: Johnston, E. McAllister, Taylor, Byers, McLellan, Tommons, J. Kelly, McClean, McAleenan, McCawl, McNulty subs Davidson (not used), M. Kelly (replaced McLellan 59), D. McAllister (replaced McCawl 79), Bennett (not used), Shearer (not used), Heron (not used), Henderson (not used)

Dungannon Swifts: Moran, Hegarty, Wilson, Teggart, Lowe, Lafferty, Hutchinson, Campbell, Smyth, Ferrin, Carvill subs Addis (not used), Clucas (not used), O'Rourke (replaced Smyth 74), Patton (not used), Gallagher (replaced Campbell 58)

Referee: Evan Boyce

Attendance: 292

Tags:  Ards  Dungannon Swifts