PLAYR-FIT Teamwear Championship.
Ards vs Dundela.
Saturday 25th November at 3.00 p.m.
Another big test for Ards as they bid to complete an East Belfast double by beating Dundela to add to their 3-0 victory over the Welders at the Blanchflower Stadium last weekend. Although level on points with the leaders, the Duns are currently second in the table behind Portadown, but only on goal difference and they have two games in hand on the Ports so would back themselves to win at least one of those and top the table outright.
Dundela stalwart Stephen Gourley took over the hot seat for the second time in May this year and his men are on a good run, unbeaten in their last six league games. Coincidentally their last defeat was at the hands of Ards who beat them 1-0 at Wilgar Park on the 23rd of September. That win at Wilgar was one of Ards better displays in what has been a frustratingly inconsistent season for the Red and Blues so far, but fans and players will take heart from the points and the performance at the Welders last time out when the Championship player of the week Callum Dougan netted twice to add to captain Michael Ruddy's opening goal to ensure the three points. That win still leaves Ards in tenth place on 20 points, but so congested is the table that they are just two points behind sixth placed Ballyclare Comrades who are on 22 points along with Bangor and Annagh.
The visitors could conceivably play a back four comprised entirely of ex Ards players in Michael Kerr, Jay Magee, Jamie McGovern and Sam Dinu, while another ex Ards favourite William Faulkner could also play a part. The goal threat comes mostly from the experienced Andy Hall and 23 year old Jordan Jenkins, the latter on loan from Glentoran, both players have five goals to their credit so far.
I was surprised to realise that the 3-0 win last week pushed Ards into a positive goal difference, albeit only +1, for just the second time this season, the last time being after the 1-0 win at Wilgar Park.
Ards fans who made the short trip to see last week's win were no doubt pleased to see an attacking line up, with the Scannell brothers prominent on either side of the pitch. The midfield had a solid look about it and the whole team worked hard to preserve the lead that their early dominance had given them. It will need a similar performance to improve what has been a poor home record this season with the only league win at Clandeboye coming against Dergview in September. An in form Dundela will prove a tough challenge but the backing of a big home crowd can only help!
Match Sponsors :- FB Motors, 27/29 West Street, Newtownards.
Ball Sponsors :- CTS Tyres, Killinchy Road, Comber.
Match Officials :-
Referee :- Neil Robinson.
1st Assistant :- Aaron Graham.
2nd Assistant :- Bryan Magill.