Athlone Town -v- Finn HarpsThu, Jul 12 2012
The mid-season break was good for Athlone. True, they have only picked up four from a possible nine points but they have played the league leaders, Longford, and the form team of the league, Waterford, since the resumption.
They played out a credible goalless draw against their midlands rivals and although they shipped four goals against Waterford they matched, and even bettered, the in-form Blues in terms of possession but, sadly for them, not in terms of finishing.
A play-off place is still within their grasp but if they are claim one then a victory against Harps is a must.
They have a number of injuries to contend with though they are boosted by the return of Mark Sherlock and Sean Guerin. Assistant manager, Padriag Moran, is hopeful that they can add to the squad and keep those above them in their sights.
Speaking to the club website he said:
“We’re going into the Harps game with a good level of confidence after last weeks performance against Longford and with the signing of some players training has become far more competitive and the intensity (of training) has risen. It’s important we continue picking up positive results and stay on the coat-tails of the top-three.”
Finn Harps arrive in Lissywoollen looking to build on a victory over Mervue United which will have restored some confidence after successive losses to the two league leaders.
They had to win the game twice against Mervue after squandering a two goal league but Paul McVeigh’s 67th minute winner means that Peter Hutton’s men can turn their attentions to overhauling Wexford Youths, which they could possibly achieve with a victory on Friday night.
Hutton told the clubs website that he expects his team to build on last weeks victory and remain professional until the end of the season:
“We’ve challenged the boys to go on a bit of a run. But to go on a run you need to pick up that first win so hopefully now the boys can maintain those good habits. We have to be professional and prepare as best we can now for the Athlone game,”
They travel without the suspended Thomas McBride, who was issued with a seven game ban for his second sending off against Limerick a fortnight ago, but are hoping to give debuts to both Michael Funston and Mark Scoltock should clearance come through for both players.
Referee: Adriano Reale
Athlone have won both league fixtures this campaign running out 2-0 winners at home and also winning the game in Ballybofey 2-1
Noel McGhee was on target twice on their last game in Athlone Town Stadium
All the three games played in last seasons campaign ended 1-0 with Finn Harps winning two out of the three games
Athlone Town 10/11 Draw 9/4 Finn Harps 11/4
Athlone Town 2-1 Finn Harps
Athlone Town Injury News:
Paul Danaher, Roy King, Warren Conroy.
Doubtful: Niall Scullion, Jason Hughes, Ian Sweeney. Unavailable: Scott Gaynor, Stephen Relihan, Garvan Broughall
Athlone Town Suspension News:
Finn Harps Injury News:
Stephen O’Donnell, Hugh Carlin, Blain Curtis
Finn Harps Suspension News: