• Stuart Dellow

Season Opener PSNI vs Ards

Updated: Oct 13, 2019

PSNI F.C. vs Ards.

NIFL Championship.

The Dub. Upper Malone Road.

Saturday August 3rd at 3.00 p.m.

The competitive games start on Saturday when Ards travel to the Dub on the Upper Malone Road to take on a PSNI side that only preserved their current Championship status by beating Annagh United 5-3 on aggregate in the end of season play-off games. This season PSNI will be sharing a ground with fellow Championship side Queen's University while work is carried out on their home pitch at Newforge. Sharing a ground is something Ards fans will be familiar with, but at least PSNI fans have a chance of returning home next season!

Ards have locked competitive horns with PSNI four times in recent memory, twice during our last season in the Championship, when we recorded a 7-0 win at Newforge in November 2014 and a 2-1 win in February 2015 at Bangor. Anyone lucky enough to be at the Newforge game will surely remember Willie Faulkner's stunning volleyed goal from the edge of the penalty box during what was a comprehensive victory. Ards also have two victories in cup competitions. However those results count for nothing as there have been wholesale changes both in personnel and management since those games were played.

With a hectic schedule of seven games to play during the month of August including matches against three of the promotion favourites in the shape of Newry City, Ballinamallard and Portadown, Ards fans will be hoping to start the season with a win to give confidence for the matches to come. Manager Warren Feeney has tinkered with his squad for most of the pre-season games in order to give everyone some game time, but in the last two games he has fielded stronger starting elevens and this has resulted in good performances and wins against Bangor and Ist Bangor. The latter game resulted in a 5-0 win, with four goals for makeshift striker Kym Nelson, the downside was a few players had to go off with minor injuries although hopefully all should be available for Saturday. Fans will be keen to see if Kym remains in a striking role or if one of the new signings will be given the nod to partner Michael McLellan up front. The only injury absentees are likely to be our signing from Portadown, Jerry Thompson and young Jonah Heron who were both injured in pre-season friendlies. A win on Saturday, wearing our new away kit for the first time, would set the scene nicely for the home fixtures against The Welders next Tuesday and Newry City next Saturday.

The PASC will be running a bus to this fixture, leaving Gibson's Lane at 2.00 p.m. so if you aren't sure where the Dub is, or just want to avoid the hassle of Belfast Saturday afternoon traffic, you know what to do