Ards vs Knockbreda.
Saturday November 11th at 3.00 p.m.
Hopefully fully recovered from their herculean efforts against Premiership Champions Larne on Tuesday night, Ards return to Championship action as they take on rock bottom Knockbreda in a crucial League game on Saturday. The Red and Blues finally succumbed to Larne in the BetMcLean League Cup tie after 120 minutes of team effort with three great goals to push the full-timers to the limit.
Encouraging though it was, that performance will count for little if it isn't backed up by three points against Knockbreda who are having a torrid time this season, marooned at the bottom without a single point after 14 games and with a goal difference of - 30. Ards can't afford to be complacent however as in the previous meeting this season at Breda Park the home side fought back from 3-0 down to make it 3-2 before having a man sent off. This was Ards first win of the season after opening with two defeats and a draw.
Following their 3-0 win at Dergview last Saturday Ards overtook their hosts and moved into tenth spot in the table, still five points adrift of the top six which must be their next target after leaving the relegation zone. Dergview are away to Portadown this week and if results go in favour of Tipton's men they can put further distance between themselves and the bottom two. The next target is Annagh who are just three points ahead and face a tricky trip to the Welders this weekend.
Unsurprisingly a couple of players were clearly struggling with cramp towards the end of the 120 minutes on Tuesday and as the manager explained in his programme notes on the night others have been nursing injuries, while Jamal Dupree, Salou Jallow and Karl Hamill have recently left the club. On the plus side Patrick Cafolla was able to play the last few minutes from the bench on Tuesday after being out injured for a few weeks. The smaller panel and ongoing injury problems will present selection headaches but fans will see this as a must-win fixture no matter what the starting eleven.
The main goal threat from Knockbreda seems likely to come from much travelled ex Ards striker Guillame Keke who has scored half of the ten goals managed by his team to date. Ards have spread their goals around, with a number of players contributing to the total of 24 so far in the league. With the exception of the Antrim Shield tie against Glentoran, Ards have scored at least once in their last fifteen games, hopefully the team can build on the last two performances and that trend will continue against the team with the leakiest defence in the division.
Match Sponsors :-
Tree House Interiors.
NG Shaw Paint Spraying Services.
Ball Sponsor :- Aziz Turkish Barbers.
Match Officials :-
Referee :- Mark Milligan.
1st Assistant :- Jason Millar.
2nd Assistant :- Richard Hegarty