Mark Kelly and Gareth McConaghie contest a header (©INPHO/Freddie Parkinson)


Coleraine began life after Oran Kearney with a scoreless draw away to Ards at the Bangor Fuels Arena.

New boss Rodney McAree looked on as interim boss Trevor McKendry took charge of the Bannsiders but despite hitting the woodwork twice they had to settle for a point.

Ards created the best of the early opportunities with David McAllister seeing an effort palmed away before Chris Johns got down well to deny Callum Byers after he swung a shot from Kym Nelson's free-kick.

Coleraine were unlucky twice in quick succession just before the break.

On 39 minutes Jamie McGonigle cut in from a run down the right to turn the ball onto the crossbar while, two minutes later, Stephen O'Donnell also hit the crossbar from a corner.

In between those two chances Ards were denied by Gareth Conaghie's goalline clearance after a McAllister cross was parried by Johns.

The Bannsiders came close again on the hour when Ards keeper Sam Johnston was called into action to produce an excellent stop to deny Stephen Lowry.

Ian Parkhill then had an opportunity after Eoin Bradley held the ball up but he couldn't keep his effort on target.

BBC Sport NI coverage

Ards: Johnston, Kerr, Byers, Taylor, Frazer, Cherry, M. Kelly, D. McAllister, J. Kelly, McClean, Nelson subs Davidson (not used), E. McAllister (replaced Frazer 52), Elebert (not used), McLellan (not used), Mitchell (not used), Tommons (replaced Cherry 66), McAleenan (not used)

Coleraine: Johns, Harkin, McCauley, Lowry, Bradley, Parkhill, McConaghie, O'Donnell, Traynor, McGonigle, Canning subs Mullan (not used), Douglas (replaced McConaghie 45+2), Crown (not used), Burns (replaced Parkhill 76), Doherty (not used), Gawne (not used)

Referee: Steven Gregg

Attendance: 592

Tags:  Ards  Coleraine