Irish Premiership: Ballymena United 4-2 Ards

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Gary Thompson scores two goals to help Ballymena United to a 4-2 victory over lowly Ards at the Showgrounds.

Gary Thompson scored twice as Ballymena beat Ards for only their fifth Premiership win of the season.

David Cushley gave the Sky Blues an early lead with a deflected free-kick and then Thompson broke through to shoot low for 2-0 in the 36th minute.

Ards fought back to level before half-time with quickfire goals from Willie Faulkner and Neil Dougan.

Thompson's fine strike from 25 yards made it 3-2 just after the hour and Michael Ruddy got the fourth late on.

With Dungannon beating leaders Linfield, Ballymena stay in 10th place in the Premiership but boss Glenn Ferguson will be relieved to have halted a run of three successive league defeats.

Cushley's opener gave United an eighth-minute boost and it came after Ards keeper Graeme McKibben was adjudged to have handled outside his penalty area.

McKibben received a yellow card and from the free-kick Cushley's effort was deflected in.

Keeper McKibben was left exposed as Thompson ran from deep to sire into the bottom corner.

Things were not looking good for Ards at this stage but Willie Faulkner rifled into the corner on 40 minutes after Dougan had slipped the ball into his path.

Two minutes later Dougan equalised with an overhead kick at the far post after a long throw-in.

Thompson restored Ballymena's lead in the 61st minute and Stuart Addis dived to save Faulkner's long-range effort.

In the 90th minute Ruddy tapped in Ballymena's fourth after a great run and cross from the right by Gary Liggett.

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