Ards v Newry Preview
Lough 41 Championship
Ards vs Newry City
Friday 29th October at 7.45 p.m
A big Friday night crowd is expected for the opening fixture of an important weekend for the Red and Blues who could be sitting five points clear on Saturday evening if they can win against Newry and Loughgall win on Saturday at Ballyclare. Of course if those results don't go in favour of John Bailie's men they could find themselves in third place a point behind the new joint leaders!
There are positives for Ards, they still have a 100% home record in the league, they have scored in every league game this season with the exception of the last game against Loughgall, who have conceded less goals than any other team in the Championship and they are currently the form team in the division with four wins in the last five outings. Newry's form has been a little inconsistent since they beat Ards 2-1 in late August and their last five games have seen two wins, two draws and a defeat at home to Dergview last weekend.
John Bailie will be able to add Calvin McCurry to the panel for this game, Calvin obviously couldn't be considered for the County Antrim Shield tie on Tuesday against his parent club Cliftonville. Dee Dee McAllister came through his first taste of competitive football this season without a problem when he came on as a substitute on Tuesday night and while it might be too soon for him to start a game he will be hoping to be on the bench if needed.
Newry will have top scorer Daniel Hughes suspended and while he will be a loss, they have the likes of ex Ards striker Mark Kelly to call on, as well as Thomas Lockhart, John McGovern and James Teelan who have all been among the goals this season, indeed Newry have only scored one goal less than Ards in the league this season and have only conceded one more, so their record is nearly identical.
It should be an intriguing encounter, don't miss it!
Match Sponsor - Perry Donaldson.
Ball Sponsor - The Maine Man [Jon Stephenson].
Match Officials -
Referee - Neal Robinson.
1st Assistant - Aaron Graham.
2nd Assistant - Kealan Getty.