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  • Writer's pictureStuart Dellow


PLAYR-FIT Teamwear Championship.

Ards F.C vs Harland and Wolff Welders.

Clandeboye Park.

Friday 25th August at 7.45 p.m.

Another Friday night under the lights for Ards and they will be looking to build on last week's result at Annagh when they took a point in a display that was a marked improvement on the opening two defeats. That 0-0 draw at the BMG Arena was obviously Ards first point of the season, but equally importantly it was the first point Annagh dropped and with other previously unbeaten teams losing it means Ards are only five points off the pace instead of nine. Obviously it is very early in the campaign but it is important not to slip too far behind the pace setters if a promotion push is to materialise.

The Welders were one of three sides with maximum points at the start of last weekend's matches and perhaps surprisingly they lost 3-2 at home to a stoppage time goal from Dergview, they are now on six points, one behind current leaders Annagh who have seven. Ards are in 11th place with that single point gained against Annagh, just ahead of Knockbreda who have yet to avoid defeat in their three games.

The Welders opened the season impressively, beating Ballinamallard at the Blanchflower Stadium, losing 2-0 with half an hour to go they ran out 4-2 winners and followed that up with a 2-0 win at Newington who had beaten Ards the previous week. The Welders squad is heavy with ex Ards players and two of them have already scored this season, namely Michael McLellan and Johnny Frazer, add in the prolific Matthew Ferguson who has three goals already and the Ards defence will need to be at their best if the Red and Blues are going to get something out of this game. One interesting addition to the Welders side this season is Yusuf Mersin, a 6ft 5inch London born goalkeeper who has previously played for Crawley, Dover and Maidstone and has represented Turkey at Youth International level, winning eight caps as a teenager.

The Ards starting eleven is hard to predict, certainly the travelling fans saw a better performance last week and with a bit of luck they could have seen the team bring home the three points. The only area of the team that has remained unchanged so far is the back four but the manager is still to find his best blend from the 22 man squad. One concern is that only one goal has been scored in the three games so far and as we all know goals win games! In my opinion Ross Hunter, Callum Dougan and James McLaughlin all have goals in them, hopefully that will be proved by at least one of them this week.

A big Friday night crowd cheering the team on would be welcome!

Match Sponsor :- EJ's Cafe, 40 Montgomery Road, Belfast.

Ball Sponsor :- Albert Boal Quality Butcher, Movilla Road, Newtownards.

Match Officials :-

Referee :- Peter McGrath.

1st Assistant :- Shane Geary.

2nd Assistant :- David Burns.

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