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  • Writer's pictureStuart Dellow

Annagh v Ards

Annagh United vs Ards.

BMG Arena.

Friday 14th April at 7.45 p.m.

Ards continue their post-split fixtures with a trip to play one-time promotion contenders Annagh United in a Friday night fixture. From being serious contenders for automatic promotion Annagh have slipped to fourth place and are eight points behind the play-off position with just three games to play. The change of form has been spectacular, from enjoying a run of just one defeat in 14 games, Annagh have earned just two draws from their last nine games, losing seven and have only scored three goals in those last nine matches.

Ards lost on their previous trip to the BMG Arena this season, going down 2-1 in August, but won both fixtures at Clandeboye Park, 2-1 in October and more recently 2-0 in March. Although on this terrible run Annagh should not be taken lightly with the experienced Stephen Murray who has 16 goals this season, able to cause problems for any defence. Annagh also held Loughgall to a scoreless draw on Tuesday night, a much better result than Ards achieved against the same opponents last Saturday.

However Ards recovered some pride with a strong performance in atrocious weather conditions earning a 1-0 win against Warrenpoint on Tuesday, a side that look certain to clinch the promotion play-off spot. A replica of that performance would make them favourites to win this one. Realistically Ards best finish this season would be fifth, currently in sixth but level with Ballyclare who edge fifth place on goal difference one better than Ards. Ards penultimate fixture is of course a trip to Dixon Park to take on the Comrades.

Matthew Tipton was struggling to fill the bench on Tuesday and it is hoped that some of the walking wounded will be fit enough to at least be part of the match day squad. One player with an incentive to add to his tally of 21 goals so far is Adam Salley, with just three games left he is on course to be the Championship's leading scorer, his main rivals are the Welders pairing of Matthew Ferguson on 19 and Michael McLellan who is on 17. On paper the Welders have easier fixtures being in the bottom six but they have still to play Ballinamallard, Newington and Knockbreda and the latter two are fighting to avoid the relegation positions.

Match Officials :-

Referee :- Barry Monaghan.

1st Assistant :- Shane Corrigan

2nd Assistant :- Roy Beacom

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