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Match Preview: Athlone vs UCD

Kick-off: 7.45pm, Athlone Town Stadium, Friday 23rd SeptemberSSE-Airtricity-League

After last week's 1-0 defeat to Cobh Ramblers in the SSE Airtricity First Division, Collie O'Neill will be hoping his side can get their playoff push back on track as we face a trip to Athlone Town. Speaking ahead of Friday's game, Collie stressed that last week's performance simply wasn't good enough and knows his side will have to improve ahead of Friday's game.

"It was a disappointing performance last week. The lads all want to be playing Premier Division football next season, but based on that kind of performance that isn't going to happen. We will need to improve a lot over the coming weeks if we are to have any chance, but we need to take it one game at a time and we will be looking to bounce back with a big performance on Friday night."

This will be the fourth time we have faced Athlone this season, with us coming out on top in the last two encounters, while the first time we met in the UCD Bowl it ended up in a tight 1-1 draw. Athlone was a difficult place for us to go to last season as well with both games ending in draws and Collie knows his side will be in for a big test.

With the season entering the closing weeks of the season, Collie has received a welcome boost as Brian Shortall has completed a full week of training this week and is back in contention for Friday's game. His return means that Collie now has a full squad available ahead of the game, with no injury or suspension worries to contend with.

Injured: None
Doubtful: None
Suspended: None

Last 5 results this season:

20/8: UCD AFC 3 – 1 Janesboro FC (Ryan Swan, Kieran Marty Waters, Liam Scales)
28/8: UCD AFC 2 – 3 Limerick FC (Kieran Marty Waters, Maxi Kouogun)
2/9: Cabinteely 0 – 2 UCD AFC (Gary O'Neill, Jason Byrne)
9/9: UCD AFC 0 – 1 Dundalk FC
16/9: UCD AFC 0 – 1 Cobh Ramblers

This season's top scorers (all competitions):

15 – Gary O'Neill
9 – Kieran Marty Waters
7 – Ryan Swan
6 – Maxi Kouogun
5 – Greg Sloggett, Georgie Kelly
2 – Dylan Watts (now Leicester City), Jack Watson, Jason McClelland, Jason Byrne
1 – Tomas Boyle, Cathal Brady, Liam Scales