Lough 41 Championship.
Newry City vs Ards.
Saturday March 12th at 3.00 p.m.
Ards travel to Newry hoping to build on the encouraging win over Ballyclare last week, a result that not only kept them in the top six but saw them score five goals for the first time this season and keep a clean sheet for the first time since late November. Newry are sitting top of the table, a point clear of Annagh with a game in hand and have had the "indian sign" over Ards in recent fixtures, being unbeaten in the last six games between the two sides. They will undoubtedly pose a stronger challenge than Ballyclare who have been struggling for form recently, a disappointment after their good start to the season.
Ards main priority is to be in the top six at the split, with their main challengers for that sixth spot being Dergview who are currently just three points behind with a game in hand. After this fixture Ards will only play two more games before the split so every point is vital.
Matthew Tipton made a big call last week dropping the experienced defensive duo of James Ferrin and club captain Jaimie McGovern, it will be interesting to see his selection for this one, does he keep faith with a winning side or does he revert to a more experienced starting line up? Ards fans will be hoping for more of the same from the forward line, with Dee Dee McAllister coming back to his pre-operation best, scoring five goals since the managerial change. Ross Arthurs and Daniel Reynolds also had good games last week and the subs made an impact when called upon, with Jallow going close to scoring and Igiehon and Scannell combining for the fifth goal.
Newry are a strong side and returned to the top of the table on Tuesday night with a 5-1 win over Knockbreda, their fourth win in the last five games. The result was perhaps made more impressive because they were 1-0 down early on and were without leading goalscorer Daniel Hughes. They clearly were not distracted by the possibility of being re-instated to the Irish Cup following another registration problem, this time affecting Glentoran who beat them narrowly in the quarter final.
The PASC bus will leave the Social Club/Gibson's Lane at 1.30 p.m. All fans are welcome.
Newry have advised Ards that there will be no segregation on Saturday, all spectators are to enter via the home turnstiles.
Match Officials -
Referee - Diarmuid Harrigan.
1st Assistant - Roy Beacom.
2nd Assistant - Vikki Finlay.