Mark Kelly shields the ball from Matthew Clarke (©INPHO/Brian Little)
Saturday, 20 October 2018
Two Mark Kelly goals helped Ards claim an unexpected win over morning leaders Linfield at Clandeboye Park.
Kelly opened the scoring after just eight minutes after he got a head to Jonah's Mitchell cross to leave Roy Carroll flat footed.
Linfield pressed hard for the equaliser, and thought they had grabbed it after half-an-hour when Josh Robinson nodded home at the back post from Robert Garrett's free-kick only for the goal to be ruled out offside.
Michael O'Connor then saw a half volley well turned away by Sam Johnston while, for Ards, David McAllister was inches over from 25 yards.
The Blues started the second half brightly with Joel Cooper cutting in from the right early on to draw a good save from Johnston.
Cooper was instrumental in Linfield's equaliser on 66 minutes when he hooked the ball into the box for substitute Niall Quinn to cut in and poke the ball past Johnston.
But Ards responded well. Kym Nelson almost restored their advantage moments later with a well executed 25-yard drive which rattled off an upright.
Then, on 70 minutes, the winner came via Kelly's second of the afternoon after he twisted and turned through some poor defending to slot the ball into the far corner.
Colin Nixon's side then weathered a late Linfield storm to hold on to claim the points.
Ards: Johnston, E. McAllister, Byers, Taylor, Elebert, M. Kelly, D. McAllister, J. Kelly, Tommons, McClean, Nelson subs Kerr (not used), Cherry (replaced Tommons 73), McLellan (replaced M. Kelly 75), Mitchell (replaced E. McAllister 6), Mooney (not used), McAleenan (not used), McArthur (not used)
Linfield: Carroll, Robinson, Callacher, O'Connor, Cooper, Millar, Clarke, Kearns, Mulgrew, Garrett, Mitchell subs Stafford (not used), Waterworth (replaced Millar 65), Stewart (replaced Mitchell 75), Doyle (not used), Fallon (not used), Quinn (replaced Garrett 65), Casement (not used)
Referee: Evan Boyce