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  • Writer's pictureStuart Dellow

Ards v Knockbreda Preview

PLAYR-FIT Teamwear Championship.

Ards vs Knockbreda.

Clandeboye Park.

Saturday 17th February at 3.00 p.m.

 

Ards must put behind them the disappointment of that late, late loss to Bangor last weekend as they bid to get the points they need to remove the possibility of being involved in the relegation dog-fight. In truth Ards deserved at least a point from the North Down derby with two goals disallowed before conceding those injury time body blows. However their current precarious position means there is no time for dwelling on the past and a win against bottom of the table Knockbreda this weekend is essential.

Knockbreda look all but relegated already, with just four points from their 25 games so far, however Ards fans won't need reminded that one of those points came courtesy of a 92nd minute equaliser against the Red and Blues at the end of November. Ards did win the previous encounter at Breda Park 3-2 in September when after taking a 3-0 lead the game ended up in a slightly nervy 3-2 victory for the visitors, perhaps aided by a red card to a 'Breda player after they had reduced the deficit to a single goal.. Breda's only win of the season came against Derview in early November, but since that late equaliser at Clandeboye Park they have lost eight in a row and seem to have lost several players in the January transfer window as well, as according to the squad list on the NIFL website, their current top scorer Marcus Murphy only has two to his credit. 

John Bailie made several signings in January and three of them made their debut last week. Lee Newell, Corai Quinn and Odhran McCart can all be satisfied with their first appearance in Red and Blue with Quinn and McCart showing some nice touches and a competitive side to their game, while Newell opened the scoring against Bangor and worked hard throughout. I would imagine there will be few changes from last week's starting eleven, although club captain Michael Ruddy might be considered after missing out against Bangor.

Tenth placed Ards find themselves somewhat isolated in the league table, they are a full eleven points behind ninth placed Newington who have two games in hand and are seven points ahead of eleventh placed Dergview who have one game in hand. Realistically even a top half finish is a tall order and efforts must be concentrated on winning the points that will ensure survival in the Championship, starting on Saturday.

There was a healthy crowd in the away side last Friday, those supporters will surely have been pleased by the display against a Bangor team that went top of the league after that draw, even if only temporarily, a similar turn out this weekend getting behind the team from the start can only help.

 

Match Sponsor :- The Universal Bootleggers.

Ball Sponsor :- Paul Taggart.

 

Match Officials :-

Referee :- Gareth Stewart.

1st Assistant :- Ken Ross.

2nd Assistant :- Aaron Graham.

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