Loughgall felt frustration at the final whistle on Saturday but can take positives moving forward from a result that helped to stop the rot of four consecutive league defeats.
Niall Currie returned to Lakeview Park as manager of title-chasing Ards and salvaged a share of the spoils with a late equaliser that killed home hopes of a welcome win.
However, Loughgall coach Steven Hawe considers the overall performance level a major plus.
“We played really well, looked compact and put a lot of pressure on Ards,” said Hawe. “It was a shame to concede so late on but our luck is not going the right way at present.
“Ards’ first goal arrived when a cross bounced off the bar and dropped for the player then the second came in the final minute of normal time.
“There has been a clear improvement since we arrived and I think the lads look much fitter now than a month ago, with everyone responding well to sessions with Ulster’s Robbie Bremner.
“That fitness will provide the cornerstone of turning around our form in the NIFL Championship One.”
Aaron Patterson opened his account in Loughgall colours with a slick free-kick to equalise before Ryan Moffatt’s curling effort made it 2-1 to the Villagers.
“Aaron scored a cracking goal and is starting to show his ability with Loughgall,” said Hawe. “He forms a really good partnership with Warner Mullen as they can work off each other.
“We were also solid in defence overall, building on the midweek performance against Portadown.
“Matt McMahon made his debut for Loughgall following a move from Portadown and showed some really encouraging signs.
“There is more to come from the young lad and he can only learn from someone with Steven Ferguson’s experience as the other midfielder.
“Wesley Boyle was used out on the right because of his ability to keep possession and experience at using the ball.
“We have Bangor at home this weekend but should take real confidence from the Ards match,” said Hawe. “I think the lads gained a real boost from our second-half display against Portadown and that continued on Saturday.
“You can see a real buzz starting to build now around the club.”
Kick-off will be 3 o’clock.