PLAYR-FIT Teamwear Championship.
Ballinamallard vs Ards F.C
Saturday 7th October at 3.00 p.m.
Ards travel to play Ballinamallard for the second time this week in good spirits following their comprehensive 5-1 League Cup victory over the same opponents on Tuesday evening. It is true that neither side started with their usual first choice eleven on Tuesday, but those in Red and Blue that got a rare start did themselves no harm and must come into the manager's reckoning when he is choosing his side for this league encounter. Among the eight changes from the defeat to Portadown were Max Miller who scored two early goals that set the scene for the rest of the game, Karl Hamill who was part of a revamped back three and also found time to score the final goal of the game, Salou Jallow with two assists and James McLaughlin who returned from suspension and scored from the penalty spot for his first goal of the season.
This is a vital game for both teams, although in ninth place on just twelve points a win for Ards would put them back in the picture, particularly as the fourth placed team are only two points ahead of the Red and Blues and six of the eight teams currently above them play other sides in the top eight, so unless all the games finish in a draw the league table will look a bit different on Saturday evening. The points are equally important to the Ducks who have just nine from their nine games, although they did beat high flying Newington last weekend to end a run of five consecutive defeats, a 2 goal win over Ards would move them ahead of their opponents on goal difference. They have yet to draw a game this season, having won three and lost six.
Patrick Cafolla's hamstring injury may well rule him out of consideration and it remains to be seen if captain Michael Ruddy has recovered from the injury that saw him go off against Portadown, but as already noted their absence was more than compensated for on the night by the replacements.
Last season's league games at Ferney Park both went the way of the home side, but the travelling fans will hope that with the confidence gained from that convincing League Cup win Ards will put on a display that will earn them maximum points and see them rise up the table.
It is not just the two teams who are meeting for the second time this week but coincidentally both the referee's assistants were also on duty on Tuesday night.
Match Officials :-
Referee :- Barry Monaghan.
1st Assistant :- Shane Corrigan.
2nd Assistant :- Roy Beacom.