Irish Premiership: Ards-Crusaders on after power restored

David Cushley celebrates his last-gasp strike which gave Crusaders a 1-0 win over Ards in November
David Cushley celebrates his last-gasp strike which gave Crusaders a 1-0 win over Ards in November

The Premiership game between Ards and leaders Crusaders on Tuesday night will go ahead after power was restored in the Bangor area.

A power cut earlier on Tuesday put the fixture at the Bangor Fuels Arena in doubt.

It is a vital match in the title race with Crues boss Stephen Baxter calling on his team to bounce back from the Linfield defeat by beating Ards.

Linfield won 2-1 at Seaview on Saturday to close the gap to four points.

"The important thing is for us to get about our business on Tuesday night and respond," said Baxter.

"We don't want a flat performance after this defeat - the big test is how we respond to it."

He added: "There's a long way to go this season and it's a big challenge, but we are looking forward to it."

Linfield midfielder Jamie Mulgrew was sent-off in the win over Crusaders and he is suspended for the Windsor Park encounter against Coleraine.

Struggle for Reds

Cliftonville go into their Solitude game with Carrick Rangers on the back of a defeat and a draw in their festive outings.

However, the Reds remain third and just eight points off the pace.

Tiarnan McNicholl will be in the Cliftonville squad for Tuesday's game after ending a successful loan at Carrick which included helping the East Antrim club reach the League Cup final.

"We want to get back on track - we had a great first half of the season but the last week has been a bit ropey," said Cliftonville manager Gerard Lyttle, who will have Jay Donnelly and Jude Winchester available again following respective suspensions and injuries.

"The boys know what they have to do. Get back to working harder and get back to winning games."

Meanwhile, Carrick have signed defender Kyle McVey on loan from Ballymena United until the end of the season.

Ports sign trio

Basement boys Portadown have brought in three players as they prepare for the Shamrock Park game against Glentoran.

Jordan Lyttle and Marcio Soares return to the Ports after brief spells with Crusaders while Shea McGerrigan joins from Armagh City.

Fourth-placed Ballymena United slipped up with a defeat by Ards on Saturday and the Braidmen take on Glenavon at the Showgrounds.

Ballinamallard United will be without the suspended Ross Taheny for their trip to Dungannon Swifts.

Irish Premiership - Tuesday 3 January (19:45 GMT)
ArdsvCrusaders
Ballymena UtdvGlenavon
CliftonvillevCarrick Rangers
Dungannon SwiftsvBallinamallard Utd
LinfieldvColeraine
PortadownvGlentoran

There's live coverage of Tuesday night's games on BBC Radio Ulster MW and the BBC Sport website

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