INSTITUTE VS ARDS MATCH PREVIEW
Lough 41 Championship.
Institute vs Ards.
Ryan McBride Brandywell Stadium.
Saturday November 27th at 3.00 p.m.
There is a big incentive for these two teams to end their recent poor records and start gathering points. From sitting on top of the league a short time ago Ards find themselves in fourth place, ahead of Annagh on goal difference, although only one point behind the two teams immediately above them who are in joint second place. Newry City have established a six point lead over their nearest challenger but of equal concern to John Bailie's team is the fact that only two points cover the next five teams so literally half the teams in the league are currently well in contention for promotion. Failure to reverse the recent run of just one point from five games will see the Red and Blues not only swallowed up by the chasing pack but out of contention for the automatic promotion spot.
Institute have problems of their own, an initial improvement in results following the appointment of Brian Donaghey in the hot seat at the end of August wasn't maintained and like Ards they are without a win in their last five games and sit in tenth place on 15 points, just one spot off the relegation play off place. They will be missing Joel Gorman on Saturday following his dismissal in the first half of last Saturday's 2-0 home defeat at the hands of Loughgall.
John Bailie will have selection problems of his own with no less than four players unavailable through suspension. Conal McGrandles continues his ban imposed after the defeat at Dundela, while both Ruari O'Hare and Eamon Scannell saw red in the last minute loss at home to Dergview last Friday. Craig McMillen who could have been in line for a recall to the first team squad was sent off while playing for the seconds last Saturday. The Dergview game followed a familiar pattern where Ards started off reasonably brightly but failed to take early chances and suffered for it as the game progressed.
Ards will be out to avenge the unfortunate defeat they suffered in their last trip to the Maiden City, when two late goals saw the home side triumph after Ards had dominated. With trips to promotion rivals Ballinamallard, the Welders and Ballyclare Comrades coming up Ards need to find some form quickly.
Match Officials -
Referee - Ben McMaster.
1st Assistant - Kieran Eannetta
2nd Assistant - Richard Hegarty.