Students and Athlone battle for survival

It won’t be just at the top of the table that there will be last night nerves tonight.

Down at the bottom — and also at the top of the First Division — there are relegation and promotion issues to be clarified.

After that stunning 1-0 victory away to Derry City last week, second-from-bottom UCD host Drogheda United knowing that another win will guarantee their place in the promotion/relegation play-off against Galway FC or Shelbourne.

Should the Students do no better than a draw, there’s a chance for Athlone Town to give themselves a shot at the great escape. The Midlanders, who had their first away win in over 12 months when shocking St Pat’s at Inchicore last Friday, host a Bray Wanderers side who secured their own Premier Division status by holding Dundalk to a draw.

And depending on the result at the UCD Bowl, a win for Athlone — or, with goal difference, even a draw —could still be enough to avoid automatic relegation and secure that play-off spot.

The First Division opposition in that game will also be decided tonight, as Galway carry a two-goal lead into their second-leg game against Shelbourne at Tolka Park (8pm).

In tonight’s other Premier Division fixtures, Shamrock Rovers host Limerick, Sligo are at home to St Pat’s and Bohemians welcome Derry City to Dalymount Park.


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