Ashfield will be the Ants first footers for 2019 as we play our first match of the new year at McKenna Park this Saturday. Ashfield have been in good form this season currently sitting in 3rd place in the league having amassed 32 points from their 17 games so far. The Ants sit three places below them in 6th but a win for the Govan side would close that gap to just three points.
Both sides will be looking to build on the back of defeats in their last matches with the Ants looking to bounce back from a 2-0 defeat away to league leaders Lanark before the New Year, whereas Ashfield will still be smarting from a 4-0 home defeat to Vale of Clyde last Saturday.
The Ants are bolstered by the return of captain Anton Conway and Shaun Gallacher as well as the signing of Kamil Leszczynski whilst Ashfield have also been busy in the transfer market this week brining in attacking midfielder Aiden McNeil from Premiership side Renfrew and defender Alex Amos from League One leaders Gartcairn.
Ants manager John Kelly is looking forward to the encounter. Speaking to the Ants website earlier he said “We return home to McKenna Park after a week off last week and an away game in our last outing where we lost 2-0 away to Lanark. I actually thought we were very unlucky not to take anything from the game, they basically had 2 real chances and scored with them both which is a hard one to take”. He was happy with the effort levels from the players “Our boys battled hard and more than competed with them but like I said in my pre-match interview they are a good side and their league position shows that”.
Moving on to this weeks match he is under no illusions it will be a tough match and the boys will need to be at their best to take anything from the game “We take on Ashfield this week who themselves have aspirations of at least getting promotion if not challenging for the title itself. Our last outing against them at the very start of the season saw us slip to a 2-1 defeat but as has been the story a good few times this season I felt we deserved something from the game.” He feels the improvement in the team since then could bode well “We have improved since then and added some experience which we lacked on the day so hopefully we can get ourselves a good result on home turf.”
Having added Kamil Leszczynski has been a boost to JK who had the Polish striker targetted as a potential signing for a while “I am a big fan of Kamil, He brings a lot of quality to our attacking options and I am sure the McKenna Park faithful will quickly see why we speak so highly of him”