Match Day 26. Ballinamallard vs Ards.
Ballinamallard vs Ards.
Bluefin Sport Championship.
Ferney Park, Ballinamallard.
Saturday 25th January at 3.00 p.m.
Ards bid to get over the disappointment of losing to PSNI last Friday when they take on the Ducks who are currently second in the League table. Although Harry McConkey's side are six points behind Portadown they are well in contention for a play-off place. They are currently a full 15 points ahead of Ards who lie sixth, although the Red and Blues do have two games in hand.
Ards have the advantage over their opponents so far this season, with a 1-1 draw at Ferney Park in August followed up by a 3-2 win in Bangor in November. Since that defeat in November Ballinamallard have been on a good run with seven wins, a draw and only two defeats in their last ten games in all competitions. Strangely both defeats have come at the hands of third in the table Loughgall, a team Ards convincingly defeated 3-0 in John Bailie's first home game in charge. Last weekend the Ducks drew 3-3 at Portadown, having come back from a 2-0 deficit only to concede a very late equaliser.
The danger man for Ards will no doubt be veteran striker Ryan Campbell, although now 38 years old, he has already scored 22 goals this season, 20 of them in the League.
John Bailie will be hoping that Craig McMillen and David McAllister are able to play, both were sorely missed last Friday by a side that seemed to lack the spark those two can provide. While it is still mathematically possible to earn a play-off place, the temptation might be to stick with the experienced players, but maybe with an eye to next season some of the recent young signings might get some game time. Whatever the starting line up fans will be hoping for a better performance to talk about on the long journey home.
Match Officials :
Referee : Chris Morrison.
1st Assistant : Richard Storey.
2nd Assistant : David Anderson.