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Ards try again after evening 'disaster'


Late start: Ards and Dungannon met in an early evening game

Late start: Ards and Dungannon met in an early evening game

Brian Little

Late start: Ards and Dungannon met in an early evening game

Ards chairman Brian Adams has branded his club's first experiment with a Saturday evening kick-off time 'a disaster' but he is happy to give it another try.

Adams, who doubles as vice-chairman of the Northern Ireland Football League, is refusing to judge the success or failure of later start times on last month's match between Ards and Dungannon at Clandeboye Park, despite it being their worst home crowd of the season.

Instead he will use this Saturday's home clash with Glentoran, which will kick-off at 5.30pm, as the yardstick that will tell him if it is worth making early evening start times more common in the future.

"There were three things working against us the last time that we had to kick-off at 5.30pm," said Adams.

"The weather was horrendous, Ulster were playing in a big Heineken Cup match on TV and Liverpool were on live as well.

"The bad weather meant that a lot of junior matches in the area were off and a lot of the people who I'd spoken to who said that they were going to come along after their match went to the pub in the afternoon instead and stayed there.

"We've had one disaster and with less than 200 people coming through the gate it was easily our worst crowd of the season, but I won't judge it on one night."

Ards have been forced to move the matches against both Dungannon and Glentoran because of a clash with Bangor, whose Clandeboye Park ground they share.

Adams is anticipating having to make further changes later in the season and is open minded when it comes to a preferred kick-off time, with even the untried option of Sunday afternoon on the table, as far as he is concerned.

"People will say we are forced into this – and we are to a certain extent – but I do think it's worth trying different times," said Adams.

"We would have liked Friday night this week, but Glentoran weren't keen and they couldn't have played on Sunday as they are playing on Monday night.

"After the split we will have possibly three home matches and I would be open to Friday night, Saturday evening or Sunday – depending on what matches Sky are showing."

e LAST night's scheduled Premiership match between Warrenpoint Town and Glenavon was postponed after an afternoon pitch inspection.

The Milltown surfaced was deemed unplayable after it suffered major wear and tear in recent weeks. No new date has been set for the fixture.

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