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  • Writer's pictureMichael Barritt


BetMcLean League Cup Ards vs Cliftonville. Clandeboye Park Tuesday 26th October at 8.00 p.m The winners of this tie, which was delayed due to some of Cliftonville's players being on International duties, earn a quarter final tie away to the winners of the Portadown vs Ballinamallard game which is also being played on Tuesday evening. Current Premiership table toppers Cliftonville, who beat Harland and Wolff Welders 2-0 in the last round, suffered their first defeat of the season on Saturday when they were beaten 1-0 at Ballymena, while Ards who top the Championship table in spite of a 1-0 away defeat at the weekend, defeated Dollingstown 4-0 away back on September 15th to get to this stage. The last time these clubs met in this competition was in 2016, although it was then known as the JBE League Cup, when the Reds beat the Red and Blues in the final which was held at Solitude. Only four of that Ards squad are still with the club, the McAllister brothers, Craig McMillen and Ross Arthurs, although Jaimie McGovern who was with Cliftonville in those days has since joined Ards. McGovern will obviously not feature in this game, having been dismissed against Loughgall on Saturday and with a crucial league game at home to Newry on Friday night, John Bailie may well be tempted to rest a few of his regulars and give some game time to others. Cliftonville manager Paddy McLaughlin may also rest a few regulars, much as he did in the 4-2 win against Bangor in the County Antrim Shield tie last week when two fifteen year old debutants were in his starting line up. Bangor were actually leading 2-0 just after half time in that game but the introduction of some more regular first team players from the bench, including Joe Gormley who netted twice, was too much for the Seasiders. This tie is to be settled on the night, so if it is level at full time there will be extra time of 15 minutes each way and if scores are still level the winners will be decided by the taking of kicks from the penalty spot. Season tickets are not valid for this game and admission prices are set at £8 with concessions at £5. Match sponsors - Anonymous Ards fan. Ball sponsor - David Sharpe. Match officials - To be announced.

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