DANSKE BANK PREMIERSHIP
Ards 0, Dungannon Swifts 1
DUNGANNON Swifts claimed their first win of the new Danske Bank Premiership season as a late Dougie Wilson free-kick separated the teams at a sodden Bangor Fuels Arena.
It was another miserable night for Ards who were reduced to 10 men just before Wilson’s winner when Dave Elebert marked his debut with a red card.
So while the Swifts claimed their first points of the season, Ards remained fixed on zero points after four defeats.
The game opened on a controversial note as the Swifts believed they should have been awarded a penalty kick in the seventh minute when Ards debutante Elebert collided with Ryan Mayse but referee Arnold Hunter waved away the Dungannon protests.
The Swifts skimmed the bar in the 15th minute when Paul McElroy curled a 20-yard effort just over the bar.
Ards striker Guillaume Keke then missed a golden opportunity to score his first goal of the season in the 16th minute. The Frenchman was clean through on goal with only Stuart Addis to beat but Keke under hit his lob, allowing Addis to catch the ball with ease and a great chance was gone.
Gary Liggett should have scored against his old side on the half hour mark but the Ards striker’s penalty box shot was easily held by Addis.
Dungannon almost took the lead in first half stoppage time, when Peter McMahon volleyed just over the bar from the edge of the area.
Ards made a bright start to the second half with Liggett forcing Addis into an unorthodox save from close range four minutes in the new half.
A minute later, captain Gareth Tommons saw his 10-yard shot slip just wide after some good work on the right-flank by Jonny Frazer.
However, it all fell apart for Ards in the 73rd minute when Elebert fouled Mayse just outside the area. Referee Hunter produced Elebert’s second yellow card to reduce Ards to 10 men and it was to get worse seconds later.
From the resulting free-kick, Wilson’s 20-yard drive deflected off the wall and past Hogg to give Dungannon the points.
Ards tried to find a way back into the game, but with 10 men they were unable to create any clear cut chances and remain in search of their first points of the season.
Ards: Hogg; Hall, Elebert, Taylor, McMillen (83 McLellan); Frazer, Cherry, Tommons, McAllister; Keke (83 McComb), Liggett (74 Byers)
Subs Not Used: Davidson, Hanley
Dungannon Swifts: Addis; McMenamin, Fitzpatrick (73 Hegarty), Wilson, O’Rourke; Lowe, McMahon (90 Hutchinson), Clucas, Mayse; Harpur, McElroy (73 Burke)
Subs Not Used: Hughes, Teggart
Referee: Arnie Hunter