Ards v H&W Welders
Lough 41 Championship.
Ards vs Harland and Wolff Welders.
Bangor Fuels Arena.
Saturday 14th August at 3.00 p.m
Match Sponsor - Burch Autos, Mill Street, Newtownards.
Ball Sponsor - North Road Hand Car Wash, Newtownards.
Ards look to continue their 100% start to the season when Gary Smyth brings the Welders to town. The Welders are one of a number of clubs that have signed well in the close season with a view to gaining promotion to the Premiership and although they are playing the third of six consecutive away games while their new stadium nears completion, they will be all out to add to the three points gained so far. To date they have a 5-0 win against Queen's on opening day while a last minute penalty saw them suffer a 3-2 defeat at Newry on Tuesday after taking a first half lead.
John Bailie will continue to be without Dee Dee McAllister, Danny Magill and McGrandles . Also missing will be Patrick Cafolla, scorer of three of Ards five goals this season, who begins a three match ban after his red card against Loughgall. TJ Murray and Craig McMillen should come back into the panel and Jamie Glover, who made an impact as a late substitute on Tuesday will be pushing for a start.
The Welders have so far scored seven this season and the goals have been shared between Michael McLellan, who got a hat trick against Queen's on opening day and Darren Murray. These two form what is possibly the most prolific pairing in the division, McLellan needing no introduction to Ards fans with over 100 appearances for the Red and Blues while averaging just over a goal every three games, his strike partner Darren Murray has extensive Premiership experience with a number of clubs on his c.v. The Welders have a number of players who have also spent time with Ards, against Newry the starting eleven included Callum Byers, Craig Harris, and Gareth Tommons as well as McLellan, while Gary Spence was on the bench.
Coincidentally Ards last Championship defeat was against the Welders, when they lost 2-1 in Bangor on January 28th last year, the Red and Blues did gain revenge for that defeat when they reversed the scoreline at Tillysburn on March 7th which turned out to be the last game of the ill-fated 2019/2020 season.
Season tickets and Ards Amigo boxes will be available at tomorrow's game and fans are asked to follow the safety procedures put in place by the club.
Referee - Ben McMaster.
1st Assistant - Kealan Getty
2nd Assistant - David Burns.