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League Preview: Athlone Town -v- Galway United

Fri, Apr 19 2019

Kaleem Simon of Athlone Town in action during their Leinster Senior Cup win over Dundalk in February. Credit: Paul Dolan (ETPhotos)

ATHLONE TOWN

Athlone Town will look to arrest a four-game losing run when they take on bottom-of-the-table Galway United in Lissywollen on Friday night (kick-off 7.45pm).

Terry Butler’s side started the season in a rich vein of form, taking seven points from their opening three fixtures and beating Dundalk in the Leinster Senior Cup.

These results were all the more significant as the midlanders had gone over a year without a win, but the only points they’ve picked up since was a win over Bray in March.

Last time out saw a much-improved performance as Butler’s side fell to a narrow 3-2 defeat away to Cabinteely courtesy of Rob Manley’s late winner.

Shane Dunne had given Athlone the lead late in the first half before Manley and Keith Dalton turned into around, before Kealan Dillon made it 2-2.

Athlone Town have not provided team news.

GALWAY UNITED

Galway United head into this meeting with Athlone Town knowing at least a point is essential if they are to avoid heading into the second series of games on the bottom.

Galway have a game in hand over the rest of the league’s sides, however form suggests they’re unlikely to take anything from the rescheduled game with leaders Longford.

The Tribesmen sunk to the bottom of the table last week as they were beaten 2-1 at home by Cobh Ramblers, while Wexford moved up to ninth with a draw against Limerick.

Jaze Kabia gave Cobh an early lead before Vinny Faherty levelled from the spot, but an own goal from Maurice Nugent midway through the second half settled the tie.

"We're looking forward to the game in Athlone," manager Alan Murphy told the club’s media team.

"It's a place that we have already gone to this season and performed and won the game. We're obviously very conscious that our league form hasn't gone well so far.

"We're going to try and address the errors and failings from last week, but we also want to build on the positives and the good stuff that we've brought to the table as well.

"There is a lot of external negativity in terms of just our results alone. I think we're a little bit more professional and further ahead in our development that we're not just looking purely at results.

"We'd like to take three points and move on and get some confidence. We're going into every game to try and win it."

Conor Layng is out long-term with a cruciate injury, while Iarfhlaith Davoren, Adam Rooney and Jeff McGowan are also injured.

Colin Kelly and Donal Higgins are also unavailable as they are away with the Irish Schools side in the Centenary Shield.

Referee: Alan Carey.

MATCH STATS

These teams have met once already at Lissywollen this season, in the EA Sports Cup, going to full 120 minutes before Vinny Faherty struck in the 116th.

Their three meetings last season saw Galway win by three goals on each occasion – twice at Eamonn Deacy Park by a 4-1 scoreline and 3-0 in Lissywollen.

BETTING

Athlone Town 5/4; Draw 23/10; Galway United 9/5.

PREDICTION

Athlone Town 2 – 1 Galway United

Athlone Town

Injured: Unavailable.

Doubtful: Unavailable.

Suspended: None.

Galway United

Injured: Conor Layng (cruciate), Iarfhlaith Davoren (calf), Jeff McGowan (hamstring), Adam Rooney (foot).

Doubtful: None.

Unavailable: Colin Kelly, Donal Higgins (international duty).

Suspended: None.