Michael McLellan (44)


Colin Nixon celebrated his new contract with three points at Carrick Rangers (©INPHO/Brian Little)


Colin Nixon celebrated his midweek signing of a new three-year contract by guiding Ards to a narrow away win over Carrick Rangers.

It's a result which sees Carrick dragged further into the relegation dogfight, leaving them just a point ahead of bottom club Ballinamallard United.

Carrick started brightly, threatening early on when Brendan Glackin tested Sam Johnston while Darren Henderson was unable to make the rebound count.

Glackin had another effort, a left-foot shot, go the wrong side of an upright on ten minutes before, at the other end, Kyle Cherry sent the ball over at the back post despite being unmarked.

Johnston was tested by Glackin again on 21 minutes, managing to push the ball away.

And Carrick kept pressing, coming closest on 38 minutes when Mark Edgar saw a free-kick clip the top of the crossbar.

But the deadlock was broken a minute from the break through Michael McLellan when an effort from the Ards man struck the inside of the post before going in.

Henderson might have levelled for Carrick just after the hour mark, only to fire just over from Lee Chapman's cross before, soon after, substitute Julien Anau sent an effort past the post.

However, Ards held on to secure the points and, indeed, might have doubled their advantage in the closing minutes only for Kyle Cherry to fire wide from outside the area.

BBC Sport NI coverage

Carrick Rangers: Doherty, Smyth, Edgar, McNally, Chapman, Taggart, Glackin, Kottoy, Hassin, Henderson, McNulty subs J. Smith (replaced Glackin 72), McAllister (not used), Morrow (not used), Larmour (replaced McNulty 81), Anau (replaced Hassin 51)

Ards: Johnston, Glendinning, McAleenan, Byers, Ruddy, Mitchell, Cherry, J. Kelly, Frazer, Stewart, McLellan subs Tommons (not used), L. Kelly (not used), Brown (replaced Mitchell 69), McKenna (replaced McLellan 77), Hanley (not used)

Referee: Lee Tavinder

Attendance: 267

Tags:  Ards  Carrick Rangers