League Preview: Athlone Town -v- Finn Harps

Athlone Town Stadium

Athlone Town Stadium Credit: Gerry Shanahan (ETPhotos)


Athlone will be looking to get back to winning ways when they host Finn Harps on Friday night (kick-off 7.45pm).

After a quarter of the season, the Town sit seventh with nine points accrued from nine games so far.

In a congested First Division midtable, defeat tonight could see them drop to ninth. A win, meanwhile, could elevate them all the way up to fourth.

Both of Athlone’s victories have come at the Athlone Town Stadium against Wexford, and Treaty United ten days ago.

They’ll be wanting to bounce back from a comprehensive 3-0 loss at Bray Wanderers last week when they played the majority a man light following Dylan Hand’s 32nd minute red card.

The Town will look to Aaron Connolly, matchwinner against Treaty, alongside Dean Ebbe to keep bagging the goals as Athlone go in search of their third league win of the year.


Sitting pretty in second, Finn Harps have only lost one of their opening nine encounters, at home to Cobh Ramblers.

Having already ratcheted up five wins, Darren Murphy’s men will look to extend their unbeaten streak to five matches tonight.

Three successive clean sheets preceded last week’s home draw against ten-man UCD.

Club captain, Tony McNamee is impressively anchoring the midfield alongside the experienced David Cawley, Ryan Rainey and Patrick Ferry’s creative injections.

This, the first of three away trips in a row, will give a proper indicator of whether Harps can stay the pace in this year’s promotion battle.

Referee: Jason Moore.


Connolly, Hand and Ebbe have scored all bar one of Athlone’s last eight league goals since the opening night win over Wexford.

McNamee has scored in three successive games, netting the winner at Treaty followed by home strikes against Bray Wanderers and The Students.

In the first meeting between Athlone Town and Finn Harps, in March in Ballybofey, Harps ran out 2-0 winners thanks to first-half goals from Stephen Doherty and Success Edogun.

Prediction: Athlone Town 2-2 Finn Harps.

Athlone Town:

Injured: Noah van Geenen.

Doubtful: Jamar Campion-Hinds.

Suspended: Dylan Hand.

Finn Harps:

Injured: Max Hutchison, Kevin Jordan.

Doubtful: Stephen Doherty, Tim Heimer.

Suspended: None.