Posts Tagged ‘ Richie Towell ’

LOI: Top Two Ready For Battle

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Bray Wanderers –v- Athlone Town    7:45

Two struggling sides face off as Bray Wanderers play Athlone Town at the Carlisle Grounds.

Another week, another defeat for Bray Wanderers. Their 5-1 defeat at the hands of Dundalk last week was their twelfth this season. More worrying is the manner of the defeat as Bray have conceded 13 goals in their last three games. Alan Matthews and his side need a win and quickly and will see this game as a perfect opportunity to get it.

The 2-0 defeat against St Patrick’s Athletic was Athlone Towns 16th this season. That defeat has left them rooted to the bottom of table and six points from safety. If Athlone are to have any chance of surviving they need to start beating the teams around them, so taking all three points here is an absolute must. Continue reading

LOI: Dundalk Look To Finish Off Reigning Champions

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Athlone Town –v- Drogheda United    7:45

Two out of form teams face off as Athlone Town play Drogheda United at the Athlone Town Stadium.

Despite seeing an upswing in form that got them four points Athlone Town suffered a setback in a 1-0 defeat at the hands of Cork City on May 30th. Athlone will see this as a chance to get some more points on the board. A home game, against a woefully out of form side who are leaking goals. Athlone will be bitterly disappointed if they don’t get at least a draw.

The 6-0 hammering against St Patrick’s Athletic was another defeat for Drogheda United, their fourth in a row. In those four games they have conceded 19 goals. Drogheda need a win and badly. They have a good chance here against and equally out of form side, but if the Louth side cannot sort their defence out they will not get the three points they need. Continue reading

LOI: Bohs Seek Dublin Bragging Rights On Enemy Ground

irishfootball

Athlone Town –v- UCD    7:45

Bottom side Athlone Town welcome UCD to the Athlone Town Stadium.

The 2-0 defeat to Sligo Rovers on Tuesday was not unexpected, but would have been disheartening to Athlone Town after getting their first point in the previous game. They will consider this game an opportunity and will look to take advantage of their opponents inconsistent form and land that badly needed win.

UCD will be extremely pleased with their 1-1 draw with St Patrick’s Athletic last week. That result lifted them into ninth position and gave them some breathing room over the bottom sides. They will be looking for and expecting win here over a poor side, but need to be prepared and organised or they may leave the game with nothing. Continue reading

LOI: Under Pressure Collins Seeks Victory Against UCD

irishfootball

Bray Wanderers –v- Dundalk    7:45

Bray Wanderers play host to title chasing Dundalk at the Carlisle Grounds.

The 2-1 away defeat against Shamrock Rovers on Monday has left Bray Wanderers sitting in ninth position in the league. That defeat will hardly come as a surprise to Bray, but they face no respite here against another title chasing team. Manager Alan Matthews and his players will need every bit of their home advantage if they are to get a result here. Continue reading

LOI: Athlone Go In Search Of Seventh Heaven

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Bohemians –v- Limerick    7:45

In form Bohemians take on out of form Limerick at Dalymount Park.

Goals from Daniel Byrne, Jason Byrne and a James O’Brien o.g. gave Bohemians a 3-1 away win over rock bottom Athlone Town on Monday. That win lifts Bohs to fifth, four points off top spot. The Dublin side will look to continue their fine run of form by taking all three points from their struggling opponents.

Having not played on Monday, Limerick find themselves second from bottom and still looking for their first win of the season. This game will be their sixth attempt, fail and they may just find themselves falling into a rut that they will struggle to free themselves of. Stuart Taylor and his side know a big performance is needed here and it’s time his side delivered.

Prediction: Home win  Continue reading

Hoops Hoping To Down Dundalk In Setanta Cup Semi Final

setanta

The first of 2014’s Setanta Sports Cup semi-final games will take place at Tallaght Stadium tonight.

Shamrock Rovers take on Dundalk in the game which has an 8pm kick-off.

The Hoops head into the game with some injury concerns. David O’Connor remains side-lined with an ankle ligament injury. Stephen McPhail (tendonitis) is expected to be back in contention next weekend, but will not make Monday night’s game. Shane Robinson is also out with a bruised foot, while Kieran Marty Waters (calf) is a doubt. Continue reading

LOI : Trio Set To Slug It Out To Avoid Relegation Playoff

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The League Of Ireland will reach a climax tonight and heading into the final game of the season a lot still remains undecided.

St Patrick’s Athletic have convincingly wrapped up the league title but it remains to see who will finish as runners up with Dundalk currently sitting two points clear of 2012 champions Sligo Rovers.

Derry City head into their final game a point ahead of Shamrock Rovers in fourth place. Declan Devine will be hoping his side can seal fourth with a win tonight to cap off a largely disappointing season.

However the bottom of the table is where all of tonight’s attention will be devoted to. Shelbourne’s automatic relegation has already been confirmed but who will finish in eleventh , the playoff position , remains very much open. Bray Wanderers sit eleventh following a late turnaround in their fortunes, with Pat Devlin’s side behind UCD only on goal difference. Bohemians sit in ninth, two points ahead of the duo and will be uncomfortably looking over their shoulders. Continue reading

LOI: Win Or Bust For Dundalk

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After a controversial week of cup football , Dundalk resume their title charge , knowing that realistically anything other than three victories from their final three games will see them surrender the league title to St Patrick’s Athletic , who are currently six points ahead and possess a goal difference of +17.

At the bot tom of the table , Bray Wanderers go in search of a first league win since June , one that would see them come off the bottom of the table and leapfrog Shelbourne into the relegation playoff spot. Continue reading

Taylor Demands Focus At The Back

lims

Limerick FC manager Stuart Taylor insists his side must stop leaking goals at the back as the season draws ever closer to the final day in October.

Speaking after seeing his side crash out of the FAI Ford Cup Friday evening due to losing to Dundalk in Oriel Park. “What I take out of it is, again, we’re losing too many goals,” Taylor said afterwards. Continue reading

Wait Is Over As League of Ireland Resumes

LOIAfter a busy off season the League of Ireland makes a highly anticipated return on Friday with many believing this season may well be the most competitive yet. In our second preview ahead of the big kick off Alan Finn highlights the contenders, the pretenders and those who best be ready for a long relegation battle. 

Sligo Rovers

Prediction: Title challenge

Key Player: Lee Lynch

Last Season: Champions

Sligo Rovers should be well capable of putting up a decent defence of their Airtricity League title this season. Jason McGuinness and Mark Quigley are big losses for the champions this year, but Evan McMillan looks to be the ideal replacement for the big centre back while Anthony Elding has arrived from England to take on the goal scoring duties. There will be a number of key players for The Bit O’Red next season, Gavin Peers at the back, Danny Ventre in the middle but I feel anything good attacking wise for the side will involve Lee Lynch who has been a stand out player in Pre-season and I would expect him to build on his impressive 2012 debut season at The Showgrounds. Also keep an eye out for young Liam Martin who has been in flying form in pre-season, with six goals in six games.

St. Patrick’s Athletic

Prediction: Title challenge

Key Player: Chris Forrester

Last Season: 3rd

Having retained the majority of their squad and making a couple of decent acquisitions, Pats should be in for another title challenge this year. Of their new signings, Killian Brennan will certainly be the one to watch this season. Despite coming off the back of a horrid season with Shamrock Rovers, the winger can be the best player in the League on his day and if he gets his head down and works hard, he will prove to be a valuable player for the Saints. Chris Forrester and Jake Carroll, the stand out duo for the club for last season, will also be crucial to any success for Pats this season and you can’t help but feel the best is yet to come from both players.

Shamrock Rovers

Prediction: Title challenge

Key Player: Mark Quigley

Last Season: 4th

As the Shamrock Rovers fans desperately seek to put last season behind them, they certainly look in much better shape to challenge for the title this year. They have been the most active club in the transfer market during the off-season, bringing in players such as James Chambers and PFAI Player of the year nominees  Sean O’Connor, Jason McGuinness and Mark Quigley. Quigley, who won the award in the end, will more than likely be their key player next season, but with so many new players in the Hoops squad, it may take the team time to gel when the League campaign kicks off. Ciaran Kilduff looks set to be Gary Twigg’s replacement up top and he has certainly gotten off to a good start with winning goals against Coleraine and Wexford Youths in the past week.

Derry City

Prediction: Title challenge

Key Player: Rory Patterson

Last Season: 5th

Despite the departure of Stephen McLaughlin to Nottingham Forest, I can see Derry improving on last season’s finish. After finally securing the signature of Mark Griffin following a long, drawn out process, I feel a striking partnership with Rory Patterson has a lot of potential. We saw in last season’s FAI Ford Cup Final what Patterson can do when fully fit and with a promising prospect like Griffin beside him (assuming that is their strike force) then scoring goals should certainly not be a problem for the Candystripes.

Drogheda United

Prediction: Title challenge/European places

Key Player: Eric Foley

Last Season: 2nd

Following a marvellous 2012 campaign, will Drogheda repeat last season’s form? In my opinion, I think they will but with what is likely to be a more competitive League this year, I can’t see them finishing in the top two again. Mick Cooke has done a great job retaining the majority of his squad and has made one stand out signing in the form of Paul O’Conor from UCD. The midfielder will play alongside Eric Foley and if they click together, the Drogs midfield will be a joy to watch in action.

Cork City

Prediction: European places/mid-table

Key Player: Gearoid Morrisey

Last Season: 6th

After a disappointing return to the Premier Division last season, I feel Cork City are another team we will see improvement from this year. Tommy Dunne has been active in the transfer window, bringing in goalscorers such as Daryl Kavanagh and Danny Furlong, an area where they seemed to lack in 2012 but if Kavanagh can link up with Furlong like he did with Danny North and the striker can score goals like he did in the First Division, finding the back of the net shouldn’t be a problem this time around.

Bohemians

Prediction: Mid-table

Key Player: Ryan McEvoy

Last Season: 7th

Despite a very slow start to their last campaign, Bohemians went on to have a decent season in 2012, most notably recording a 4-0 win over Shamrock Rovers before picking up their first ever victory in Tallaght Stadium. Evan McMillan will be the Gypsies biggest loss from last season, but his replacement Stephen Paisley has shown he may just have the same eye for goal as the 26-year-old (in pre-season at least!). Ryan McEvoy caught the eye of many fans around the League last season with impressive performances and outstanding goals and I think he will be Bohs key man this year.

Dundalk

Prediction: Mid-table

Key Player: Kurtis Byrne

Last Season: 11th

New season, new hopes and new expectations for Dundalk. Following a disastrous 2012 campaign, newly appointed manager Stephen Kenny looks like he is already well on his way to changing the Lilywhites fortunes, assembling a decent squad for the year ahead. John Dillon, Kurtis Byrne, Richie Towell, Keith Ward and Mark Rossiter (when fit) could all be fantastic signings for the club if they play to the best of their abilities and Byrne looks like the man they will be relying on for goals up top and he has certainly made a good start to life at Oriel Park as he comes off the back of a decent pre-season.

Limerick

Prediction: Mid-table

Key Player: Rory Gaffney

Last Season: Champions (First Division)

For the first time in almost 20 years, Limerick will be playing in the top flight of Irish football. As they depart their old home of Jackman Park, the newly promoted side begin life in the Premier Division in Thomond Park. Location isn’t the only new change at the club, with ex-Drogheda United man Stuart Taylor stepping into the world of management for the first time, bringing with him some new faces to the club such as Robbie Williams on loan from Plymouth Argyle, Danny Galbraith from Hibernian and Belgian striker Axel Bossekota. Limerick’s progress will be an interesting one to watch, I can see them staying up as they appear destined for a mid table finish.

Bray Wanderers

Prediction: mid-table/relegation zone

Key Player: Kieran Marty Waters

Last Season: 10th

Pat Devlin goes into 2013 with mostly the same squad as last season, but one signing could make all the difference for his side this year – Gary Dempsey. I can see Bray lingering around the bottom half of the table this season, but they should have enough quality about to just keep their heads above water. As well as Dempsey, Jason Byrne, Darren Quigley and Kieran Marty Waters will be vital to Bray’s season.

Shelbourne

Prediction: Relegation zone

Key Player: Philly Hughes

Last Season: 8th

If Pre-season is anything to go by suspensions could be a big worry for Shelbourne this year. Kevin Dawson’s move to Yeovil Town is a major loss for the club and they have failed to fill the gsping hole in their midfield during the off season. I don’t have a lot of hope for Shels this season and I think they are destined for the bottom two, most likely the play-off spot.

UCD

Prediction: Relegation zone

Key Player: Robert Creevy

Last Season: 9th

Since last summer, UCD have lost players of the standard of Paul Corry, Paul O’Conor, Graham Rusk and Ciaran Nangle. Personally, I find it difficult to have any faith in them to escape relegation this season and  unfortunately for the Students they look most likely to suffer the dreaded drop into the First Division.