BetMcLean League Cup.
Ards F.C vs Larne.
Tuesday November 7th at 7.45 p.m.
Ards take on the current Premiership champions when Larne come to town in this second round BetMcLean League Cup tie in the first of two home games this week. There aren't many harder tasks in the Irish League than taking on Larne who have been on an upward curve on and off the pitch since the financial backing of Kenny Bruce began a few years ago. Larne have only tasted defeat once so far this season and that was perhaps surprisingly at the hands of Premiership newcomers Loughgall, who to be fair have taken a few clubs by surprise since their promotion to the Premiership.
A quick look at the Larne squad shows the calibre of player in their ranks, they have used 26 players so far this season so are clearly able to rotate their squad without any negative effect on results. They have already got three players who have contributed six goals each in Lee Bonis, Paul O'Neill and Andy Ryan and in the previous round of this competition they beat Knockbreda 9-1 at Inver Park without any of those three in the starting line-up. Clearly the Red and Blues will have a job on their hands containing whatever side is selected by Larne manager Tiernan Lynch. Coincidentally Knockbreda are our visitors next Saturday in an important League fixture.
Ards of course had one of their best performances of the season when beating Ballinamallard 5-1 at Ferney Park in the first round and are coming off the back of a good result last Saturday when they travelled to Castlederg and comfortably beat Dergview 3-0, a win which hopefully signalled the end to a recent run of poor results. However both those games were away games and home form has been below par this season with only two wins out of nine games in all competitions. Ards are still a bit short on manpower with Ethan Taggart absent on Saturday, Patrick Cafolla coming back from injury and both Salou Jallow and Jamal Dupree having left the club recently. Furthermore given the currently precarious league position, just above the relegation zone, and with some crucial League fixtures coming up, Matthew Tipton's team selection will be interesting. He won't want to risk a humiliating defeat but neither will he want to risk further injuries to his squad with those important league games in the offing. Cup wins are the icing on the cake but to most clubs progress, or indeed survival, in the League is more important.
Obviously season tickets are not valid for this game but admission prices have been kept at Championship level, i.e. £8 full price and £5 for concessions.
Match Sponsor :- Perry Donaldson.
Match Officials :-
Referee :- Christopher Morrison.
1st Assistant :- Stephen Donaldson.
2nd Assistant :- Jason Millar.
4th Official :- Michael McKenna