Mervue United -v- Athlone TownFri, Jul 20 2012
Mervue Utd remain at home again this week as they entertain their midlands neighbours, Athlone Town, as Fahy’s Field plays host to an Airtricity League First Division game for the second week in a row. (Kick-off 7.45 p.m.)
Johnny Glynn’s side will have to bounce back from last week’s poor performance against league leaders Limerick as they were decisively beaten, conceding three times without a reply. That loss has made it a run of five league games without a point so the Galway side will be eager to bounce back with a positive display on home turf. If they are to close the gap on a Finn Harps side that are now eleven points ahead of them, collecting full points from games, particularly at home, needs to start this evening.
They will be boosted by the return of potential match winners as wingers Jason Molloy and Tom King are available to Glynn following their recent suspensions. Fullback Michael McSweeney is also in line to start as he made his return from a hamstring injury as a late second half substitute last week. Young midfielder Shane Keogh will miss out with a foot injury as he joins goalkeeper Ronan Forde (fractured finger) and Kenny Farrell (ankle) on the sidelines.
Glynn has no suspensions to worry about this week but this will be young defender James Casserly’s last home game before he heads off to the USA on a four year college soccer scholarship in early August. New signing Cian McBrien may be added to the squad having completed another week’s training.
Glynn on Friday night’s game “We are on a disappointing run at the moment and will have to turn around a poor display against a very good Limerick side last week. Training has gone well this week and the players have responded well to that poor display. We will be looking to get the same response from the players on the pitch on Friday night and get a result against Athlone to get us back on track. It won’t be easy against Mike Kerley’s side who have proved to be a very capable side this season and have also been very much a bogey side for us for the past two seasons.”
Athlone Town make the short trip down the N6 to the City of the Tribes with recent form between the sides strongly favouring Mike Kerley’s side who have managed to win eight of their league games in the current campaign.
The midlanders would have been disappointed though with last week’s 1-1 home draw with Finn Harps as they would have fancied themselves to add to those eight victories following a well-deserved point against midland rivals and title contenders, Longford Town, the previous week.
Kerley has added some experienced Airtricity League performers to his squad this month as Stephen Last (Bray), Neil Harney (Bohemians), Barry O’Mahoney (Finn Harps), Mark McGoldrick (Sligo) and Eric Molloy have all joined the push for a promotion play-off spot which is still within the club’s sights. A win this evening is needed though to bridge an eight point gap to third placed Waterford Utd.
Kerley will be without former Mervue player Paul Danaher who suffered a season ending cruciate injury while Garvan Broughall, Stephen Relihan and Scott Gaynor remain unavailable due to work commitments in the USA. The club’s seven goal top scorer Noel McGee serves a one game suspension, while Jason Hughes is doubtful with a hamstring injury and defender Damien Rushe is also a concern as he struggles with a groin injury. Youngster Val Feeney could be recalled to the squad after being rested last weekend and new signings Shane Dunne and Sean Skelly are also both available for selection for the first time.
Referee: Keith Callanan (Cork)
Athlone have won the last six meetings between the two sides including all three last season and both in the current campaign.
Mike Kerley’s side have won both previous visits to Fahy’s Field by a single goal, a 2-1 win last July, while a Joe Woods strike claimed all three points in a 1-0 victory in March.
Mervue have to go back to May 2010 for their last win over Athlone when a single strike from the now departed, Nicky Curran, separated the sides in Terryland Park, their only other win over the midlanders was a 3-1 win back in August 2009 also in Terryland.
Mervue Utd 7/4, Draw 11/5, Athlone 11/8.
Score draw 1-1.
Mervue Injury News: Ronan Forde (Fractured finger), Shane Keogh (foot), Kenny Farrell (ankle).
Mervue Suspension News: None.
Athlone Injury News: Paul Danaher (cruciate), Roy King (knee), Warren Conroy (knee).
Doubtful: Jason Hughes (hamstring) and Damien Rushe (groin).
Athlone Suspension News: Noel McGee.