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  • Writer's pictureStuart Dellow

Ards v H&W Welders - Match Preview

Updated: Feb 24

PLAYR-FIT Teamwear Championship.

Ards vs Harland and Wolff Welders.

Clandeboye Park.

Saturday February 24th at 3.00 p.m.

 




Ards will have to put the disappointment of losing their Irish Cup appeal on Wednesday evening and get down to the vital business of trying to secure the points necessary to remove any relegation worries when they take on the Welders for the third time this season. The first encounter was a 1-1 draw at Clandeboye Park in August, while the second saw one of the best displays of the season when the Red and Blues triumphed 3-0 at Blanchflower Stadium on November 18th. Ards fans won't need reminded that their team beat Dundela 4-0 the following week or that they have failed to win a league encounter since, a run of twelve games that has seen them slip to tenth place in the division, now just seven points ahead of Dergview who occupy the relegation play off spot but have two games in hand over Ards.

The Welders are in sixth position, having won six , drawn one and lost three since the defeat at the hands of Ards in November. In their most recent encounter they lost 2-1 to Bangor last Saturday and had leading scorer Matthew Ferguson sent off in the first half after receiving two quick yellow cards, so he will be suspended for this game. Also suspended, if my reading of the NIFL website is correct, will be young defender Jack Kinner who was shown his tenth yellow card of the season in that defeat at the hands of Bangor. Although Ferguson in particular will be missed, Tiarnan O'Connor has scored 12 goals in 22 games and will be ably supported by ex Ards striker Michael McLellan. Other ex Ards players that manager Paul Kee can call on include Craig Harris, Jamie Glover and Dylan O'Kane, the latter recently signed from Bangor. Paul Kee's aim will be to at least maintain their current league position and secure a top six finish when the league splits at the end of March. The Welders do have a game in hand and if they were to win that they would be just five points behind second placed Bangor, with current leaders Dundela not involved in the promotion picture there is still a lot to play for at the top end of the table.

Having shown up well in the defeat to Bangor Ards were disappointing in last week's loss at the hands of rock bottom Knockbreda. It is difficult to know what to expect from the team, except inconsistency. The team that has allowed Knockbreda to take four points off them, given Breda only have seven points all season, have also beaten league leaders Dundela twice, keeping clean sheets in both games. Team selection and formation will be crucial in the upcoming games if we are to see an improvement in results.

 

Match Sponsors :- Regent Flooring, Regent Street, Newtownards.

Ball Sponsors :- Piggott and Sons Recovery and Car Disposal, Newtownards.

 

Match Officials :-

Referee :- Ryan Hanna.

1st Assistant :- George Argyropoulos.

1nd Assistant :- Ken Ross.

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