Lough 41 Championship.
Ards vs Warrenpoint Town.
Tuesday 11th April at 7.45 p.m.
Fresh from their 5-0 drubbing at the hands of champions elect Loughgall on Saturday, it doesn't get any easier for Ards who now take on the team most likely to be contesting the promotion play-off matches at the end of the season. Realistically Warrenpoint are not going to catch Loughgall who have an eight point advantage with four games to play, but equally Warrenpoint have a nine point advantage over Annagh and Dundela who are joint third and they have a better goal difference than both those teams, so they are massive favourites to finish second and take their chances in a play-off for promotion.
Ards capitulation at Lakeview Park was hard to watch, especially as they held their own for the opening 40 minutes and should have taken the lead on a couple of occasions early on, however once Loughgall opened the scoring the result was inevitable and the home side easily accomplished their fourth win over the Red and Blues this season.
Ards at least have had a win over Warrenpoint this campaign, after a narrow 2-1 defeat at Milltown in September, Matthew Tipton's men won 4-1 in their next visit in November, a result aided by a brace from Adam Salley and a brace of red cards for the home team. In the most recent encounter in January, Ards raced into a two goal lead after six minutes courtesy of another brace from Salley before slipping to a 5-3 loss as an Adam Carroll treble and two from Ryan Swan sunk the home team.
Ards slipped to sixth after Saturday's results, as Ballyclare Comrades beat Annagh United and while there is only pride to play for Ards fans would like to see some of the fight and determination that was so evident at Wilgar Park in that 5-1 win over Dundela, so that the season that promised so much doesn't end with a whimper.
TJ Murray was only fit for a place on the bench at Loughgall and the injured Christopher Crane was missing from the squad while Ben Mullen was suspended, the good news was the return of Greg Hall who was fit enough to come on as a second half substitute on Saturday. With the quick turn around Matthew Tipton may be tempted to give Ross Hunter and Conor Scannell who both came on as substitutes on Saturday, a bit more game time.
It is hoped that a big holiday crowd will turn up to cheer on the team in what is their last game at Clandeboye Park this season, the remaining fixtures against Annagh United, which is now on Friday 14th, Ballyclare Comrades on the 22nd and Dundela on the 29th are all away.
Match Sponsors :-
John Ross and Son, Solicitors, High St. Newtownards.
Ball Sponsor :- Jason McCullagh, in memory of Harold Black.
Match Officials :-
Referee :- Glenn Buchanan.
1st Assistant :-Justin Maxwell.
2nd Assistant :- Robbie McMinn.