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Wexford FC take on Athlone Town this evening at Athlone Town Stadium with a massive three points at stake as the final round of games gets underway. A win would bring Wexford to within a point of 9th placed Athlone, defeat would leave a 7 point gap between the sides with just 8 games left to play. Both sides go into the game having lost their top scorers this week, Wexford's Jack Doherty (6 goals) and Athlone's Dean Williams (8 goals). It was always going to be difficult for teams in the bottom half of the First Division to keep some of their top performers in this transfer window and so it's proved in the last few days at both clubs.

This will be the third and final League meeting between the sides this year with the record standing at a win apiece. Athlone took the honours in the opening League game of the season at Lissywollen back in February with a 4-2 victory. Emmet Nugent and Jack Doherty were our scorers on the night, Wexford down to 10 men after the dismissal of Danny Furlong in the 10th minute of the game. Dean Casey, Dean Williams, Kaleem Simon and Kealon Dillon were on target for the hosts. Athlone went on to have a very good start to the season after that with League victories over Cobh, Galway and Bray (they also knocked Dundalk out of the Leinster Senior Cup). However the midlanders are without a win in their last 14 games (Athlone's last victory was away to Bray in March). That winless run included a 2-0 defeat to Wexford at Ferrycarrig in the second League meeting between the sides in April (Jack Doherty and Danny Furlong with the goals).

Terry Butler's side has steadied the ship in recent weeks though, drawing their last two games at home to Cobh and last week away in Galway when they came from behind to secure a point. Athlone have also added to their squad recently with the signings of keeper Michael Quinn and ex Bohs midfielder Jamie Hamilton. Wexford fans will of course be familiar with some other key members of the Athlone squad such as Shane Dunne, John Morgan and Dean George who were all fan favourites during their time at Ferrycarrig. Other danger men to look out for include Dean Casey and Kaleem Simon who were excellent down the wings for Athlone in the previous encounters. Athlone's only home win in the League this season was that 4-2 opening day victory over Wexford, they've drawn 3 and lost 5 home games since then.

Oddly enough Wexford haven't won since that 2-0 home victory over Athlone in April, a run which includes 6 defeats and 2 draws. Wexford have just the one point from 9 away League games so far this season (a 1-1 draw with Limerick in April) which includes last weeks 2-0 defeat to Cabinteely at Stradbrook. Wexford have difficult away games to come at Cobh and Shelbourne later on this month. With the loss of two big players this week (Doherty and Sean Callan who was recalled to Shamrock Rovers) Brian O'Sullivan will be hoping some of his new recruits can settle in quickly to help the team finish the season strongly, defenders Ricky Fox and Andrew O'Connor added to the squad along with midfielders Andy Mulligan, John Peare and Shane Griffin in recent weeks. 

In Wexford team news, Chris Kenny (who had surgery on his groin injury last week) and Andy Mulligan (recovering from an ACL injury) are still weeks away from a return to action but Thomas Croke is back available after serving a one match suspension which made him miss last weeks trip to Stradbrook. 

Kick off at Athlone Town Stadium this evening is at 7:45pm.

Wexford FC League Record vs Athlone Town: Played 9, Won 3, Drawn 2, Lost 4

Current League Standings: Wexford FC: 10th (9 Pts)  Athlone Town: 9th (13 Pts)

Current League Form: Wexford FC: DLL  Athlone Town: LDD

Current Top League Scorer: Wexford FC: Jack Doherty (6)  Athlone Town: Dean Williams (8) 

Last Meeting: League, Ferrycarrig Park, 26th April, 2019: Wexford FC 2 (Doherty, Furlong)  Athlone Town 0

You can check out the last meeting between the sides in April below:

 

 

CURRENT STANDINGS

League of Ireland First Division

    Pld +/- Pts
8 Galway United 27 -6 26
9 Athlone Town 27 -31 18
10 Wexford FC 27 -43 11

Full table

 

Women's National League

    Pld +/- Pts
1 Peamount United 21 81 56
2 Shelbourne FC 21 67 54
3 Wexford Youths Women 21 48 42

Full table

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