PLAYR-FIT Teamwear Championship.
Dundela vs Ards F.C
Saturday 23rd September at 3.00 p.m.
On Saturday Ards make the short trip to Wilgar Park hoping to extend their current unbeaten run of five league games, six unbeaten if including the County Antrim Shield win over Queen's. In spite of this unbeaten run the Red and Blues are still at the wrong end of the table, sitting in ninth place with just nine points, all gained from those last five league games following those two defeats at the start of the campaign. Dundela however have made an impressive start to their season, after losing 5-2 to Annagh on opening day they won five in a row before going down 3-1 to this season's surprise package Newington last Saturday. However the Duns are still in second place with fifteen points and will be looking to return to winning form against Ards.
Last season Ards definitely held the upper hand in clashes between the two. The first meeting was a 1-0 win for Ards, coincidentally on the same date as this fixture, although it was a Friday night game at Bangor. The next fixture was on New Year's Eve when the two sides played out a 1-1 draw, again at Bangor. The final two games were at Wilgar Park and resulted in convincing wins for Ards, 5-1 in March, followed after the league split by a 4-2 win on the last day of the season, at the end of April.
In spite of the all too familiar sticky patch in the second half, Ards were impressive for most of the game in the 4-2 win against Dergview last week, as they had been in the frustrating 2-2 draw with Ballyclare in the previous game, travelling fans will hope that their team can maintain the recent improved performances for the full 90 minutes as they look to continue their climb up the table.
The team will probably be along the usual lines, although Patrick Cafolla who played a full game for the reserves in their 2-1 win at Lisburn Distillery Reserves last weekend may come into contention, at least for a place on the bench. Another who played in that game and scored one of the goals is Karl Hamill and he will be hoping for a place in the squad. Callum Dougan who scored two well taken goals last week, will be looking to add to his total of three so far.
Dundela will definitely be without ex Ards man Jay Magee who was sent off late on in their defeat last week, but the Duns have experience in their defence in the shape of Tony Kane and ex Ards Jaimie McGovern, while in Sam Dinu and Michael Kerr they have another defensive pair who have both spent time in the Red and Blue. At the other end of the pitch Ards will need to keep an eye on Jordan Jenkins, a recent loan signing from Glentoran who has already scored twice in his three appearances to date. There is also a goal threat from midfield, with Andy Hall and Lea Rea notching five between them so far.
With two important league games up next, namely a home clash with Portadown next Saturday, followed by a trip to Ballinamallard, Ards will want to get a positive result from this fixture, hopefully a good crowd will make the short journey to east Belfast to cheer them on.
Match Officials :-
Referee :- Gareth Stewart.
1st Assistant :- Ethan Craig.
2nd Assistant :- Jason Millar.