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Ards are steeled for Welders battle

By Keith Bailie

Ards manager Niall Currie believes his side have just as much quality as Glentoran's conquerors H&W Welders.

The two clubs are both unbeaten in all competitions this season, with only goal difference separating them at the top of Championship One.

Tomorrow, they clash for the first time this season, when the two teams go head to head at Clandeboye Park (2.30pm kick-off) in the fourth Round of the Toals Bookmakers Steel & Sons Cup.

The Welders will be full of confidence after their penalty shoot-out win over Premiership side Glentoran at The Oval in the County Antrim Shield on Tuesday night, however Ards haven't lost a competitive fixture since January.

Ards boss Currie said; "People say it's a tough draw for us, and it is a tough draw for us, but it's also a tough draw for the Welders.

"They won't be looking forward to coming here and playing us.

"We will give them everything we've got, that's for sure.

"The Welders have got quality players and it looks to me like they've got a great team spirit, but we have that too.

"They've no more quality than we have, in my opinion, but that's just my opinion.

"It's going to be a cup-tie between two evenly matched teams, so I'm sure it will be a good game for the neutral."

The Red & Blues will be without Jordan Baker, Ben Browne, Rory Carson, Craig McMillen and Tommy Lambe, while David Rainey is hoping to return for the Welders due to a head injury he picked up against Lisburn Distillery last weekend.

Top scorer Michael McLellan should return from injury after spending Tuesday night on the bench as a precaution.

The other two Championship One teams left in the draw have difficult games.

Knockbreda travel to Reserve League side Cliftonville Olympic while Larne host top Amateur League side Immaculata.

The three Championship Two clubs left in the competition will expect to progress.

Queen's University host Crusaders Reserves, the PSNI travel to Kilmore Rec and Sport & Leisure Swifts are away to 1st Bangor.

There are two all-Amateur League ties in the competition as St. Patrick's host Crumlin Star and Albert Foundry take on Sirocco Works.

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