Athlone have the chance to banish last week’s home defeat to Waterford United as they welcome SD Galway to Lissywoollen on Friday night.
In truth the 4-1 score-line was harsh on Mike Kerley’s men as they enjoyed large spells of possession but were ultimately undone by their lack of composure in the final third.
Assistant manager Padraig Moran spoke to the club’s website in the wake of the defeat saying:
“The Waterford game was huge but unfortunately we came out on the wrong side of it. The score-line was a bit flattering to Waterford but it is important now that we pick ourselves up and beat SD Galway to keep pushing for third place and keep in touch with Waterford who have a tough game against Limerick (next) weekend.”
The fact that they have scored only eight goals at home in the league, only this weeks visitors have scored fewer, must be addressed if Athlone are going to get themselves back into contention for a play-off berth.
Brian Gill who missed out last weekend due to suspension returns to the squad along with Ross Kenny who returned to training this week after a knee injury and might just push for a starting place. Warren Conroy suffered knee damage in last week’s defeat to Waterford and will miss out along with the long term injured duo of Paul Danaher and Mark Walsh.
Scott Gaynor, Stephen Relihan and Garvan Broughall are all a minimum of 4 weeks away from returning to the squad due to commitments in the USA.
The break seems have re-vitalised the league’s bottom club as they picked up their first win of the season in their first game back, beating cross-city rivals Mervue United on their home patch.
Another away victory could potentially see Tony Mannion’s side move off the bottom of the division, but they would need to beat an Athlone Town side that have yet to taste defeat against SD Galway since Mike Kerley took over.
A clean sheet would also be welcome as they will look to address the defensive frailties that have seen them concede 30 times in the league, the most goals conceded in the division with thirteen of these coming on the road.
Tony Mannion believes that his side are due some reward from their visits to the midlands:
“The squad feels that they did not do themselves justice in either of the two previous meetings and maybe the confidence – boosted by last week’s win – is right on this occasion to take the game to Athlone and come away with a positive result”.
The only possible change from the side that won at Mervue is that Eugene Greaney may start this week with the promising Albanian-native, Fatmadh Dunisha, likely to feature on the bench.
Referee: Conor Fitzgerald.
Athlone Town have not been beaten by SD Galway since Mike Kerley took over the managers’ job, having won three and drawn one during that time.
SD Galway have only managed to find the net three times on their travels in the league this season.
On their last trip to Lissywoollen back in March SD Galway striker, Enda Curran, scored a goal and was later shown a red card in his side’s 2-1 defeat.
Athlone Town 8/13; Draw 12/5; SD Galway 9/2
Athlone Town 1-0 SD Galway
Athlone Town Injury News: Paul Danaher, Mark Walsh, Warren Conroy.
Athlone Town Suspensions: None.
SD Galway Injury News: Mikey Gilmore, Colm Horgan, Brian Gaffney.
SD Galway Suspensions: None.