Another week and again Athlone Town and Bray Wanderers dominate affairs in the League. With regards to Athlone who despite their league position in the First Division are the club that are getting most of the coverage. Their board issued a strong statement during the week criticising the FAI’s match fixing investigation saying that essentially that they feel that they have been harshly treated and that the whole process has been flawed from the start. They also stated that they had repeatedly asked for the investigation to be handed over to An Garda Siochana or another appropriate police authority. The FAI hearing is due in a few weeks yet it feels that this story has not run its course yet. On the pitch Athlone drew 1-1 with Cabinteely. Elsewhere in the First Division Wexford won 2-1 away against Shelbourne. Leaders Waterford won 1-0 away against Longford Town whilst second place side Cobh Ramblers beat UCD by the same score. Cobh are now six points behind Waterford and they are away to them this coming Friday.
It the battle of the statements for Bray Wanderers and it was the players turn during the week. Their statement saying that they weren’t happy with the assurances of finance and funding given by the club and that as such they were declaring themselves all on the transfer list. The FAI then issued a statement saying that they would at the request of both parties appoint an independent mediator for talks between both sides. The transfer window closes in the League on the 31st July and there are strong rumours that a number of Bray players have been approached by other clubs in the league. On the pitch Bray took on the Premier Division leaders Cork City and were duly beaten 2-0. Sean Maguire scored one and provided the assist for Jimmy Keohane. That goal took Maguire’s tally for the season to 20. It was his last league game for the club as along with his team mate Kevin O’Connor he has signed for Preston North End. In what was a crunch relegation battle Sligo Rovers and Drogheda United played out a 1-1 draw in the Showgrounds, a result which did little for either side but does keep Rovers outside of the bottom three so every cloud has a silver lining and all that! Sean Russell gave Drogheda the lead with an absolute belter for a goal, there are highlights of it on social media, its well searching out. Rhys McCabe equalised for the Bit O’Red with a lovely calm pass to the net.
Why it does little good for either side is because fellow strugglers Finn Harps and St. Patrick’s Athletic both won their respective league games against Bohemian FC and Derry City. Both score-lines were 2-1. Dinny Corcoran had given Bohs the lead in Finn Park but goals from first Eddie Dsane and then Sean Houston gave the hosts the win. It was a similar story in Richmond Park. Ronan Curtis gave Derry a first half lead with second goals from Kurtis Byrne and Graham Kelly giving the home side the points.