Limerick FC -v- Athlone TownThu, Sep 27 2012
The finishing post is in sight for Pat Scully’s men but Athlone Town could prove a thorn in the side of the Shannonsiders when they travel to Jackman Park on Friday evening.
Despite so many heartbreaking moments in the past, it looks like Limerick might just make the grade this year and end their extended leave from the Premier Division. A win in this game sees Longford Town out of the title race, guaranteeing the First Division to stay in Munster once again.
Limerick survived an early scare against SD Galway last week at Eamon Deacy Park; despite being down to ten men and conceding a penalty very early on, a Joe Gamble goal on the stroke of half time secured all the points for the Blues in a game they desperately needed to win.
They will have to do without the services of Shane Guthrie who misses out through suspension while Rory Gaffney has been ruled out for the rest of the season. Garry Sheahan and David Ryan will try to shake off knocks, but will most likely miss the cut.
Prospects really don’t look great for Athlone Town as they look to consolidate a fourth place finish, but three successive losses - the latest against Mervue United - means the task at hand is more of an uphill struggle.
The departure of manager Mike Kerley last month has left a massive void to be filled off the field and without an experienced manager, the Midlanders have not been at the races in recent weeks. Their three-nil loss to Mervue last week was the first defeat they have suffered against the Galway outfit, and based on the display, times look grim at Lissywoolen.
Padraig Moran will be missing a selection of players on Friday night; Noel McGee, Eric Molloy and Stephen Last all look to miss out through injury while Shane Dunne will miss the clash due to suspension.
Referee: Jim McKell.
All three encounters so far this season have ended in Limerick wins by a single goal.
Athlone caretaker manager Padraig Moran was a favourite among the Limerick fans when played for them in 2007.
The familiarity doesn’t end at managerial level either – Athlone’s Brian McCarthy and Garvan Broughall were also in Limerick’s squad that finished fourth last season.
Limerick 1/4; Draw 17/4 ; Athlone 17/2 .
Limerick to win 1-0.
Limerick FC Injury News: David Ryan, Garry Sheahan, Rory Gaffney.
Limerick FC Suspension News: Shane Guthrie.
Athlone Town Injury News: Noel McGee, Eric Molloy, Stephen Last.
Athlone Town Suspension News: Shane Dunne.
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.