Athlone Town welcome Bohemians to Lissywoolen this coming Friday evening in a meeting of two resurgent teams. Adam Kelly previews the Premier Division clash.
Athlone, who were, only a few short weeks ago a certainty for relegation are now only three points off UCD in search of a lifeline in the form of a relegation play-off which would be a two-legged tie against the winners of the First Division’s second and third place play-off.
The Town have had four draws in their last four games against Shamrock Rovers, UCD, Cork City and Drogheda United. They will also be refreshed after a two week break as they were not involved in the FAI Cup quarter-finals.
Bohs have seen a marked improvement recently since their home win over Cork City in mid-July. This was the Gypsies first home league triumph since September 2013. Since then home league wins against Bray and Drogheda have followed along with a cup replay win against Cork.
Owen Heary’s side were desperately unlucky to lose in Inchicore last Friday evening in the FAI Cup. Bohs took the lead early in the game but Christy Fagan equalised soon after and Pats pushed on and eventually secured a 3-1 lead. With 20 minutes to go Greg Bolger foolishly acquired two yellow cards in five minutes and suddenly the Saints were on the back foot. Aidan Price pulled the game back to 3-2 but Bohs couldn’t force the equaliser.
Athlone and Bohemians have met twice this year with Bohs winning 3-1 in Athlone earlier in the season and in the second encounter at Dalymount Park in June Bohs came from 2-0 down to snatch a 2-2 draw.
With Bohs having little to play for and Athlone having everything to play for this writer can see Athlone getting a positive result.
Athlone – none
Bohemians – Eoin Wearen
Match Officials – Referee: Paul McLaughlin; Assistant Referees: Allen Lynch & Emmet Dynan; Fourth Official: Brendan Kelly
Adam Kelly, Pundit Arena.