BALLYMENA UNITED 3 ARDS 4
Substitute Gareth Tommons scored a 89th minute winner as Ards beat Ballymena United 4-3 in a seven goal thriller at the Showgrounds.
Both sides had their moments during the game and it looked as if the game would end in a 3-3 draw until Tommons late winner.
Ards took the lead in the fifth minute through Stuart McMullan. The big defender heading home from close range as the United defence looked on.
The Sky Blues nearly drew level from the restart but Cathair Friel’s shot was pushed away by Aaron Hogg in the Ards goal.
From the resulting corner United’s Leroy Millar headed for goal but his effort was saved by Hogg but United had responded well to going a goal behind.
The Sky Blues drew level in the 13th minute through a wonderful volley from Allan Jenkins.
The Scottish midfielder lashing his shot home from the edge of the box past a sprawling Hogg in the Ards goal.
In the 18th minute Ards nearly regained their lead but Davy McAllister# free-kick was tipped over by keeper Ross Glendinning.
The United keeper saved his side in the 22nd minute as he kept Guillaume Keke’s effort out.
United had a great chance through Jenkins in the 24th minute but his shot was cleared off the line with the keeper beaten.
A minute later it was 2-1 as Friel fired home for the Sky Blues. It was a quality finish from the young striker.
Niall Currie’s Ards then drew level in the 30th minute as Emmet Friars headed home from a free-kick, as once again the United defence went missing from a set piece.
The game was then held up for a few minutes as Ards keeper Hogg received treatment but he was able to continue.
Ards made it 3-2 in the 42nd minute through Joe McKinney.
The striker made his way into the United box before a ricochet off a United defender took the ball over stranded keeper Glendinning.
It was 3-3 in the 53rd minute as United substitute Caolan Loughran headed home a Kyle Owens cross. A fine header from the young defender who is the son of former WBO World champion Eamon Loughran.
Ballymena had another chance to take the lead in the 68th minute, but Owens’ goal bound header was headed off the line by a desperate Adrs defence.
Then one minute from the final whistle Ards made it 4-3 as substitute Gareth Tommons got on the end of a cross to score.
Ballymena United: Glendinning, Kane, Owens, Flynn, Thompson, Jenkins, Friel, Wallace, Lowry, Ervin, Millar.
Subs: Blayney, McCloskey, Faulkner, McMurray, Loughran.
Ards: Hogg, Hall, Friars, McMullan, Brennan, McKinney, Cherry, McMillen, McCullough, Keke, McAllister.
Subs: Arthurs, Byers, Hughes, McComb, Tommoms.
Referee: I McNabb.