TREATY United return to league action following the Airtricity League ‘mid-season break’ when they travel to the South-East to take on Wexford FC at Ferrycarrig Park on Friday night (7.45). The Limerick based side are currently 4th in the league table following a solid opening ten league games but are searching for their first away league victory of the season.
Tommy Barrett will still be without the services of Clyde O’Connell through an ankle injury picked up against Cabinteely while Conor Melody and Aaron Fitzgerald are still absent through knee injuries. Sean McSweeney and Dean George are doubtful, but the management team are optimistic that both will feature.
This is the second meeting of the two sides as Wexford were Treaty’s first visitors to the Markets Field in March with the home side picking up all three points thanks to the club’s first goal through centre-back Anthony O’Donnell. Wexford could count themselves unlucky to lose the game considering the chances missed by both Jack Doherty and Luke Turner.
Since that early meeting, a managerial change has occurred at Wexford with Brian O’Sullivan departing after successive heavy defeats to both UCD and Cork and former UCD assistant manager Ian Ryan being handed his first Airtricity League managerial job. O’Sullivan had overseen 8 games without a victory and since Ryan’s arrival, Wexford have suffered a heart breaking 1-0 loss to Galway FC and finally secured their first victory in 10 games a fortnight ago when they beat Cabinteely 0-2 at Stradbrook thanks to goals from Doherty and Kyle Robinson.
On a positive note for Barrett’s charges, Wexford will be without the services of key attacker Paul Fox who was dismissed in the second half of the victory over the Dubliners.
This is Wexford’s 15th season in the Airtricity League with 14 of those years being spent at First Division level. Treaty United are the third different Limerick entity to face the Ferrycarrig outfit in that time. Wexford’s inaugural season in 2007 coincided with the formation of Limerick 37, who played out of Jackman Park and lasted just a season and a half before Pat O’Sullivan restored the Limerick FC name in late 2008.
Infamously, Limerick 37 refused to fulfil a fixture against Wexford in 2008 due to a dispute over the condition of the pitch for the pre-match warm-up. In those days, Wexford used the back pitch at Ferrycarrig Park as the warm-up zone before taking to the main pitch. However, then Limerick manager Mike Kerley had grave reservations about the safety of the second pitch and the club refused to fulfil the fixture and were heavily punished financially.
It is unlikely that such drama will unfold on this occasion and both sides will be desperate to build on victories in their last outings. Treaty were impressive 2-0 victors over Bray Wanderers with William Armshaw producing a moment of magic to beat two defenders and score before Mark Byrne scored a headed own-goal.
In the Airtricity Women’s National League, Niall Connolly’s Treaty won their second game in three weeks with a gutsy performance against Bohemians thanks to a last-minute winner from Anna Shanagher. In more good news for the club, Olivia Gibson, Eve O’Sullivan, Jenna Slattery and Aoife Horgan were named in Dave Connell’s Republic of Ireland U-19 squad for their training camp this week which includes two games against Northern Ireland.
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