Loughgall fell to their second defeat in two weeks at the Bangor Fuels Arena as title-challenging Ards won convincingly. The result sees Ards keep pace with leaders Bangor in 2nd while Loughgall, who finished with ten men after Ricky Copeland’s dismissal, drop down to 9th place.
Manager Brian Adair made two changes to the side that narrowly lost out to Bangor’s late-show last week as Chris Kingsberry and Marcus Dallas replaced Warner Mullen and the suspended Andy Smith.
The hosts were ahead after only five minutes when David McAllister’s cross from the byline was guided home by his brother Eamon McAllister with a close range header.
Josh Cahoon missed a great chance to extend the lead for the Newtownards side one minute later when he couldn’t keep his headed effort on target.
Cahoon threatened again on 41 minutes when he collected Greg Hall’s pass into the penalty area. The forward swivelled before striking a great left-footed shot that narrowly sailed over the crossbar.
Loughgall levelled just before the break as Ryan Moffatt’s free-kick was nodded home by the unmarked Kevin Anderson for his first goal of the season.
Again Loughgall conceded early after kick-off when on 50 minutes Cahoon netted the goal he deserved. Strike partner Ross Arthurs slipped a pass into his path and Cahoon made no mistake when faced with goalkeeper Gareth Buchanan racing out to close him down.
On 71 minutes the lead was increased as Gary Warwick’s through-ball released Willie Faulkner who skilfully chipped the out-rushing Buchanan for a well-worked goal.
And things worsened for Brian Adair’s side as substitute Warwick grabbed a goal after initial good play by Arthurs.
With nine minutes remaining Loughgall were reduced to ten men when referee Evan Boyce adjudged Ricky Copeland to have handled Owain Beggs’ goal bound shot. James Cully stepped up to convert the resultant penalty kick.
Loughgall: Buchanan, Carson, Copeland, Alderdice, Rodgers, Anderson, Dallas (Adair 68m), Ferguson, Moffatt, D Burns (McMenamin 68m), Kingsberry. Unused subs: A Burns, Stewart.
Ards: McKibben, Hall, Shannon, Cully, Convery, Faulkner, Hislop (Topley 59m), E McAllister, Arthurs, Cahoon (Beggs 76m), D McAllister (Warwick 65m). Unused subs: Barnett, Downey.
Referee: Evan Boyce.