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Athlone Town v Cork City Preview

Both teams need a win to keep their playoff hopes alive.

Athlone Town travel to Turners Cross this evening knowing their playoff hopes are reaching a crossroads. 

Eight points adrift of a post-season berth with seven games to go, they are running out of time to fulfill their early season promise. 

Manager Paul Doolin got off the mark a fortnight ago against Galway through a late Kurtis Byrne strike and will be well aware that another three points is vital this evening. 

The sides have split their two encounters thus far, the midlanders edging a tight affair back in April with Cork returning the favour by inflicting a two goal defeat to then boss Adrian Carberry in June. 

There's just been subtle changes by the former Ireland U-19 boss to Athlone since he took the reigns.

Scott Delaney has been brought back in from the cold and produced a man of the match performance at the heart of the Athlone defence against Galway. 

Cork's home form hasn't been inspiring with just two wins in ten games and Colin Healy's young side are expectedly hit and miss so this does represent a good opportunity for Athlone to pick up some much needed points. 

That being said they have taken nine points from their last five games including back to back wins against second placed Galway United and struggling Cobh Ramblers. 

On the injury front the have been without Rob Slevin, Gearóid Morrissey, Steven Beattie and Jonas Häkkinen recently and their status for this game is as yet unknown. 

Neither side are dealing with any suspensions coming into the game. 

Prediction: 

Cork City 1-1 Athlone Town 

Kick-off details:

Turner's Cross, 7.45pm
Referee: Paul Norton
Assistant 1: Wayne McDonnell
Assistant 2: Brian Fenlon
Fourth Official: Ray Matthews

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