Lough 41 Championship.
Ards vs Newington.
Saturday 10th December at 3.00 p.m.
With only three games left after this one before 2023 starts Ards will be hoping to end the year with a consistent run of form, something that most teams in this League seem incapable of achieving. For example, following the heavy home defeat at the hands of Loughgall, Ards had a run of five consecutive home wins, since then they have dropped seven points in the last three home games, points that would have put them a single point behind the promotion play off place!
As it is the Red and Blues are in fifth place on 29 points while Newington are ninth with 17 points, although they do have two games in hand on most of the other teams. It was Newington who ended that impressive run of five home wins for Ards when they won 2-1 in early November so Ards will be looking for revenge as well as the three points that will keep them in the hunt for promotion.
Newington have lost three of their last five and have conceded 34 goals this season, one less than Ards but with two games fewer played. They are not the most prolific of scorers with just 28 so far, having only scored two or more on five occasions, compared to the nine for Ards. Their leading scorers are the experienced Darren Stuart, previously with Cliftonville and Larne who has seven goals and ex Ards midfielder Gary Warwick who has six, one of those six being the winner the last time the teams met.
Ards leading scorer is Adam Salley who has 13 goals and this week picked up the NIFWA Championship Player of the Month award for November during which he scored six times. Ards have other goal threats, notably Eamon Scannell and Ross Hunter, the latter who missed out last weekend's draw against Institute through illness, will hopefully be available this week. T.J.Murray and Johnny Taylor who were on the bench last week will no doubt also be looking for a place in the starting line up.
Fans who turn up early will be entertained by the Comber Brass Band who will be playing festive tunes from 2.15 p.m and there will be mince pies and shortbread available for fans as long as supplies last!
Match Sponsor :- T.G. Eakin. Comber.
Ball Sponsor :- Michael Barritt.
Match Officials :-
Referee :- Glenn Buchanan.
1st Assistant :- Shane Geary.
2nd Assistant :- Jamie Patterson.