Match Preview: Crusaders (a)
CRUSADERS vs ARDS
SEAVIEW DANSKE BANK PREMIERSHIP MONDAY AUGUST 6TH - KO 7.45pm
Supporters Bus: Gibson's Lane 6.45pm As opening matches go they don't come much tougher than away to last season's champions, but that is the task facing Colin Nixon's men next Monday. Although the season officially opens on Saturday, the game has been put back because the Crues are involved in the Europa league on Thursday 2nd against Olimpija Ljubljana having lost 9-0 on aggregate to Ludogorets in the Champions League qualifying round.
Form is difficult to assess at this time of year, the Crues have suffered a couple of heavy defeats in their European games and lost at home to Larne in a friendly last weekend, albeit without several regulars. However they did beat Rathfriland 3-0 and Ards, again with many fringe players involved lost 4-3 at Rathfriland last weekend.
Ards have stuttered in their pre-season with a couple of convincing wins and a couple of less impressive performances, fans will be keen to see how the new signings fit in and how the team performs in competitive action. Craig McClean will be hoping to shine on return to Seaview, but as Michael Kerr is on loan he is ineligible.
Ards fans will be looking to see how Michael Ruddy and Ross Clarke who wore the Red and Blue last season perform against us. Ards can take encouragement from the fact that our two visits to Seaview last season were close affairs, with a 0-0 draw being followed by a 1-0 defeat to a very late goal from David Cushley.
The Crues expect to be without Jordan Owens who is out injured and obviously Gavin Whyte has been transferred to Oxford United, but they still have a goal threat and with Michael Ruddy around Ards will not want to concede a penalty!
The PASC supporters bus leaves Gibson's Lane at 6.45pm and all supporters are encouraged to make use of the service.
Anyone wishing to purchase a home season ticket for the upcoming campaign
can speak with board member Jim Bailie at the match on Monday.