Athlone Town -v- LimerickThu, Mar 29 2012
Perhaps it is the lack of expectation on their shoulders, or the sheer workmanlike performances that Mike Kerley has his Athlone side displaying, but one way or the other, Athlone have equaled their opponents blow for blow thus far.
Only trailing leaders Longford by three points, the Town have won three out of four games, resulting in nine points; the same as visitors Limerick. Athlone secured an opening day win over SD Galway before losing to league leaders Longford the week after. However, back to back wins against Finn Harps and Mervue United have Mike Kerley’s side right in contention for a playoff spot.
There is a massive Limerick connection within the Athlone ranks of course. In the squad that was chosen to face Mervue last week, there were seven ex-Limerick players; Robbie Kelleher probably being the most notable due the amount of time he spent on Shannonside. Mike Kerley was also at the helm of Lims a few seasons ago, before resigning from his post. This departure led way for Pat Scully to take over; who has been there ever since.
A certain vendetta exists between the ex-Limerick players and the club they departed, which usually results in a tense affair.
Stability has just about been restored after the shock loss to rivals Waterford United, and Pat Scully’s troops will have their minds firmly set on taking all three points away from Lissywoollen on Friday evening.
Three wins from four for the Blues boasts an identical run of form to that of their hosts for the night; with solid home wins coming against Finn Harps and SD Galway. Fahy’s Field proved to be a pleasant trip for the Blues as once again, they left Galway with three points thanks to a Shane Tracy penalty.
Limerick’s performances have been much improved since that loss to Waterford, and with Limerick looking to really have clicked as a side; it’s only a matter of time before the experienced Dominic Foley bags himself a few more goals to add to his first in the royal blue last week.
Having switched to a 442 formation in the last game, Limerick looked far more impressive. They found it a lot easier to maintain possession and had a constant loop of chances. The partnership of Behan and Foley link up really well, and the influence of Shane Tracy on the left wing was highly notable.
Referee: Keith Callanan.
Athlone players Brian McCarthy, Darren Coleman and Garvan Broughall all lined out for the Blues last season.
This same game last year finished 1-0 to the Blues, courtesy of a Sean Brosnan goal.
Athlone haven’t gotten a single point against Limerick since 2009; that game finished scoreless at Jackman Park.
Athlone Town 5/1 Draw 5/2 Limerick 8/15
Athlone Town 1-2 Limerick
Athlone Town Injury News: Unavailable
Athlone Town Suspension News: None
Limerick Injury News: Stephen Bradley
Limerick Suspension News: None
Andrew joined Extratime for the 2010 season and covers all the on-goings down in Limerick. Having first experienced the League of Ireland in 2002, Andrew became hooked, even at such an early age. He is currently studying English and New Media at the University of Limerick. You can contact him via Twitter @Cunneen92.