Shelbourne will look to return to winning ways at home to Athlone Town (kick-off 7.45pm) following last week’s extremely unlucky 1-0 loss to fellow promotion hopefuls Cabinteely.
Shels had been improving week on week, and getting the results you would expect from such a talented squad.
However last Friday’s loss puts them four points behind Cabinteely and five behind leaders Longford, who also have a game in hand.
They will be heavy favourites against struggling Athlone and, with Cabinteely and Longford facing off against each other, it looks likely they will gain points on at least one of their promotion rivals.
Midfielder Daniel McKenna spoke to the club’s website ahead of the game and discussed last week’s loss while praising the recent support from fans.
“If you weren’t at the match you wouldn’t have realised what happened in it, and the fans were there to cheer us off at the end which makes us feel that little bit better about it,” he said.
“We know we didn’t start off [the league campaign] too well, but we have dusted ourselves off and given the fans something to cheer about.
“It’s a two way thing I suppose, we need them and they us to deliver.”
Shels played a behind-closed-doors friendly with the Irish Defence Forces during the week and came through without any injuries, though John Ross Wilson remains an absentee.
Athlone are coming off a dissapointing run of results against their closest rivals, having drawn with Cobh and suffered heavy defeats to Wexford and Galway.
Any points at Tolka would be a good result for the midlands side against a Shels team who are hurting from a big loss.
With sixth-placed Bray Wanderers lying five points ahead of them, the feeling is already there that a mid-table finish might be starting to slip from their grasp.
Athlone Town have not provided any team news but Darren Meenan continues to miss out with a dislocated shoulder, while Terry Butler has no suspensions to deal with.
Referee: Paula Brady
Shels ran out 0-2 victors in the sides’ last league meeting, in Athlone back in March.
Ciaran Kilduff is the top league scorer for Shels with six goals so far in the campaign, while Dean Williams leads the way for Athlone with four.
Shelbourne 4/11; Draw 54/13; Athlone Town 9/1.
Shelbourne 3 – 0 Athlone Town
Injured: John Ross Wilson.
Injured: Darren Meenan (shoulder).