H&W Welders v Ards Preview
Lough 41 Championship.
Harland and Wolff Welders vs Ards.
Saturday 11th December at 3.00 p.m.
A big game for both sides this Saturday when Ards make their first trip to play the Welders at their impressive new stadium.
Although Newry City are currently clear at the top they travel to second placed Loughgall this weekend, with only a point separating Ards and Loughgall and a further point between Ards and sixth placed Welders there could be some changes in the pecking order by the time the final whistles blow on Saturday.
After a poor run Ards have shown better form in the last two games, while the Welders are in good form and have only lost two of their last eight games. Having said that seven of those eight games were at home as a result of the early season fixture switches that were necessary as their ground wasn't ready. Ards might be encouraged by the fact that both those defeats came at home.
The Welders squad includes several players that have previously spent time with Ards, including Michael McLellan, Callum Byers, Gareth Tommons, Scott Davidson, Scott McMillan, Gary Spence and Craig Harris who have all featured this season. One player in that list who will definitely be absent on Saturday is Michael McLellan who was dismissed in the 78th minute of last week's 3-1 victory over Dergview. The score was 1-1 at the time but fellow strike partner, the experienced and much travelled Darren Murray completed his hat trick to earn the points for the home side.
John Bailie will not be able to include either Ruari O'Hare, who completes his three match suspension, or TJ Murray who was sent off against Ballinamallard, one of several decisions that did not please the away support! However what did please the fans that made the long trip to Ballinamallard was seeing Dee Dee McAllister score for the second game in a row in only his second start after his long lay-off, plus the team fought well to earn the point with signs of the early season form returning, they will be hoping to see a similar effort against the Welders.
The PASC bus will leave the Social Club/Gibson's Lane at 1.45 p.m.
Match Officials -
Referee - Glenn Buchanan.
1st Assistant - Aaron Graham.
2nd Assistant - Justin Maxwell.