Ards vs Harland and Wolff Welders
Ards vs Harland and Wolff Welders.
Bluefin Sport Championship.
Bangor Fuels Arena.
Tuesday 28th January at 7.45 p.m.
This is a rearranged game that was originally scheduled for March 7th but we will now play the away game that was postponed on 23rd November on that date.
Both teams earned very respectable away draws last time out, the Welders went to Newry on Friday night and came away with a point after a 0-0 result while Ards travelled to Ferney Park on Saturday and earned a point with a late equaliser in a 2-2 draw after twice going behind. Most neutrals and even some Ballinamallard fans would agree that Ards were the better team for most of the game and the Mallards second goal came from a contentious penalty.
However Ards kept their heads up and the point was the least that they deserved.
Team selection for Tuesday might give John Bailie some headaches, Ards continued their pattern of gathering yellow cards and among the five awarded against the Ducks were Johnny Taylor and Jaimie McGovern who both got their fifth booking of the season and consequently miss the Welders game as they have a one match suspension.
Among the options could be Kyle Calderwood or recent signings Sam Dinu or Adam Harwood, the latter has been building match fitness with the Under 20s, or maybe a positional change might be John's preference, whatever he chooses it is unfortunate to lose both first choice centre backs at the same time! Up front the manager will have a different sort of headache with a number of players vying for inclusion. Young Ben Cushnie got the start on Saturday but when leading goalscorer Michael McLellan came on the goal threat increased and he will feel he has earned the right to start against the Welders. Salou Jallow who made his first start for the club in the weekend game will feel he did enough to warrant keeping his place although David McAllister is hoping to return from his recent absence through injury and his pace and skill is an asset to the side. Eamon McAllister also had a good game at Ferney Park and will have to be in contention to keep his spot in the starting line up..
The Welders recent form has been patchy with only two wins in their last eight, but they are unbeaten in the last two, the draw at Newry being preceded by a 6-2 rout of Knockbreda, a game in which ex Ards favourite Ross Arthurs scored a hat trick. They will be looking for the win to peg back the eight point gap between the teams as they bid to get into the top half of the table before the split, while Ards currently occupy that sixth position but will still be hoping to make a push themselves and put pressure on the teams above them.
Match Sponsors : Martin Phillips Carpets, Newtownards.
Ball Sponsor : One Stop Mortgage Shop.
Match Officials :
Referee : Ben McMaster.
1st Assistant : Jamie Carnduff.
2nd Assistant : Ken Ross.