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  • Writer's pictureStuart Dellow

ARDS V PORTADOWN - MATCH PREVIEW

PLAYR-FIT Teamwear Championship.

Ards vs Portadown.

Clandeboye Park.

Tuesday 19th March at 7.45 p.m.

 




Two teams with very different targets clash on Tuesday night as Niall Currie brings his Portadown side to take on John Baillie's men at Clandeboye Park.

Portadown strengthened their promotion push at the Brandywell on Saturday, defeating rivals Institute with a 97th minute winner from ex-Ards player Eoghan McCawl. A very late winner considering the home side had Daniel Lafferty sent off in the first few minutes. Those three points put them level with Institute in third place but with a game in hand. Probably more important to the Portadown camp is that they are now just two points behind Bangor who occupy second place and those two teams face off at Shamrock Park on Friday night.

Ards on the other hand sit nervously in tenth place, just two points ahead of Dergview who occupy the relegation play-off position. By coincidence Dergview visit Clandeboye Park on Saturday in a vital game for both sides, Ards will have to travel to Darragh Park post-split so a win on Saturday is vital. Unfortunately Ards are on a run of fourteen games without a win in the League and understandably confidence is low, the last win came at the end of November and perhaps more worryingly for Red and Blue fans is the fact that the goals seem to have dried up, hopefully temporarily. No goals in the last three games and in total no goals in 344 minutes of play tells it's own story, although both Callum Dougan and Guillame Keke scored for the reserves as they beat Ballyclare  4-1 last Saturday. The first team had no game last Saturday as the scheduled fixture against Ballyclare had been brought forward.

The two previous encounters between Ards and the Ports this season have gone the way of Portadown, a 2-1 win at Clandeboye Park at the end of September was followed up with a 4-2 win at Shamrock Park in December. Ryan Mayse is perhaps the visitor's main man to watch, with 14 goals so far this season, the Ports also brought in regular scorer Zach Barr from Newington in the January transfer window. Barr will be familiar to Ards fans as he has already scored three times in the two games he played against Ards this season. Apart from Eoghan McCawl, the Ports also have other players with an Ards connection in their squad with Aaron Hogg in goals and T.J.Murray both available for selection. Hogg is a regular but T.J. has only played half a dozen games since joining from Ballymena United in January and has missed out completely in the last couple of squads.

Ards haven't played a first team fixture since March 2nd when they travelled to Wilgar Park and lost to Dundela, hopefully the team will have benefited from the break in competitive action and can get a positive result against the high flying Portadown side.

 

Match Sponsor :- Councillor Stephen Irvine.

Ball Sponsor :- Anonymous supporter.

 

Match Officials : Not available at time of writing. [ 9.30 p.m. on Monday 18th March.]

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