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  • Writer's pictureStuart Dellow

North Down Derby Preview

PLAYR-FIT Championship.

Ards vs Bangor.

Clandeboye Park.

Tuesday December 26th at 3.00 p.m.

A big derby game and a big holiday crowd expected to see two teams in contrasting form battle it out for three points and bragging rights. It is 2015 since the last Boxing Day North Down derby, a game Ards won 2-1 with a late winner set up by David McAllister, probably the only player from either side on that day who might play a part in this game.

Bangor will start this game in confident mood, they are currently in fourth spot in the table and just three points off the promotion play-off place, an impressive situation for a newly promoted team. Like Ards they have one draw in their last five games but there the similarity ends as Bangor have won the other four games while Ards have lost their other four, a run that has seen the Red and Blues drop to tenth place in the league, just one above the relegation play off place. Matthew Tipton will know that one point from the last fifteen is not good enough and his team must start to pick up points soon to dispel any thoughts of a relegation battle, although eleventh placed Dergview are ten points behind Ards they do have three games in hand. Moving up the table will not be easy either as Ballinamallard who are ninth are four points ahead with a game in hand.

This situation is frustrating for everyone with Ards at heart, as the team has the ability to beat table toppers Dundela twice already this season, without conceding a goal in either game, yet in the last five games have conceded no less than 16 goals, the only point gained in that run was from a 2-2 draw at Ballinamallard. Ards can score goals, both Callum Dougan and Ross Hunter have scored three times in the last four games and overall the team have only failed to score at least once in the league on three occasions this season, the first of those coming in the 1-0 defeat at Bangor in early August.

Ards have suffered with injuries, particularly in their defence, against Institute on Friday James McLaughlin had to help out as part of a makeshift back three after both Greer and Maxwell were taken off injured in the second half. Hopefully they and Adam McCallum who has missed a few games will be available for selection against Bangor. One player definitely missing is Eamon Scannell who was unlucky to get a red card near the end of the Institute game and is consequently suspended.

Whoever lines up at the back for Ards will face a couple of faces familiar to Ards fans, Ben Arthurs has scored eight times for the seasiders this season and Scott McArthur has four, both have spent time in Red and Blue. Also likely to play a part is Adam Neale who has scored seven so far. Ards as a team have scored one goal more than Bangor but have played two games more, as already pointed out the difference is at the other end where Ards have conceded no less than 17 more than Bangor.

Although this is classed as a home game for Ards, as usual when we play our landlords Ards fans are asked to use the away turnstiles where possible.

Match Sponsor :- Rich Sauces, Jubilee Road Newtownards.

Ball Sponsor:- Albert Boal Quality Butcher, Newtownards.

Match Officials :- Not known at the time of writing.

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