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  • Writer's pictureMichael Barritt

Match Preview - Newington v Ards

PLAYR-FIT Teamwear Championship.

Newington vs Ards.

Inver Park.

Tuesday 27th February at 7.45 p.m.

 

Ards travel to Inver Park in this rearranged fixture to take on Newington for the third time this season. So far Newington have the bragging rights with a 3-1 victory in Bangor on the opening day of the season followed up by a 4-1 home win in early December. 

Newington have slipped a bit from their early season form when they won six of their first seven games and briefly topped the table before a bad run saw them lose five in a row. They are now in ninth position, just one place ahead of Ards but with a massive 14 point advantage. They have won three of their last five league games and have an Irish Cup tie against their landlords Larne on Saturday, courtesy of a 2-1 win at Premiership Newry City in the last round. They have lost leading scorer Zach Barr to Portadown, Ards fans will be glad to see the back of him as he scored three in those two wins over the Red and Blues, but Newington have brought in Ruaidhri Donnelly on loan from Glentoran and he has proved a more than adequate replacement, scoring both goals against Newry and he also has two goals in his first three league games. Manager Paul Hamilton, who has been in charge since July 2021 will no doubt want to pick up league points as Newington are only four points off the top six, but Ards fans will hope he and his players will have one eye on Saturday's Irish Cup fixture. In their last league game on Saturday Newington lost 2-0 at Institute but last Tuesday they had a resounding 4-0 success over Portadown so are capable of beating anyone on their day.

Ards are in a perilous position, Saturday's narrow defeat at the hands of the Welders saw a slight improvement in performance but it extended the current winless run to twelve games and they now sit just four points ahead of Dergview who have two games in hand and a run of home games to come before the split, although they do travel to play Ards in the final game before the split. Ards suffered another injury blow on Saturday when George Tipton had to go off early on against the Welders and he will not be available for this fixture. Manager John Bailie will be aware his team have only scored four times in the last six league games and will hope that with a little composure in the attacking third his team can turn the tide and begin to gather the points that will ensure survival in the Championship. Getting the right combination up front with Callum Dougan, Ross Hunter and new signings Lee Newell and Guillame Keke all available could be key.

 

Match Officials :-  Not known on Monday 26th at 7.30 p.m..

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