Athlone Town manager Padraig Moran ... his side face Wexford Youths tonight (Friday).
ATHLONE Town must win tonight's penultimate game of the Airtricity League First Division, against Wexford Youths at Ferrycarrig Park (8pm), to stand any chance of finishing the campaign in the top-four of Ireland's second tier.
The Town are looking to end a dismal run of 12 games without victory, and as Wexford (in fourth) and Finn Harps are currently four points ahead of Athlone in the standings, a win tonight is of paramount importance.
Athlone performed admirably in last weekend's 1-0 away defeat at table-toppers Limerick, but their main downfall this season has been below-par displays against teams in the lower reaches of the division.
Shane Keegan's Wexford have twice beaten Athlone at Lissywoolen this season, while Athlone tasted a victory at Ferrycarrig Park (2-1) just before the mid-season break.
Athlone will be without the services of top-scorer Noel McGee, defender Stephen Last and Val Feeney, the latter of whom is unavailable following his inclusion in Ireland's U17 squad for a European Championships qualifying tournament in Macedonia this week.
Shane Dunne, who missed the game against Limerick through suspension, is also available, but could have to settle for a place on the bench following a battling performance by Athlone at Jackman Park, when only a late Sean Brosnan goal seperated the sides. Athlone will complete the season at home to Waterford Utd next Saturday week.
Meanwhile, Athlone Town U17s have a very attractive game this Sunday at Lissywoolen, when they take-on the famed Cherry Orchard in the opening round of this year's FAI U17 National Cup. Operating a division below Cherry Orchard, Athlone will face a stiff test of their credentials, which have seen Mick Dolan's side go unbeaten so far in their league campaign. Kick-off is scheduled for 11am.