Treaty United play their third game in 8 days on Friday when they take on Cobh Ramblers at St. Colman’s Park (7.45). It has been a tough week for the Limerick side which started brightly with a hard fought 0-0 draw with Galway United last week. Galway were favourites heading into the encounter, but a well organised and stubborn defensive display allowed Treaty to emerge with a share of the spoils. However, Monday evening proved to be a much harder night with Cork City running out comfortable 0-5 winners at the Markets Field.
To add to the disappointing nature of Monday’s defeat to the impressive league leaders, play-off rivals Wexford managed to secure a draw with Bray in injury time which allowed them to leapfrog Treaty into fifth position on goal difference. It does look as though the race for the final play-off place will go right to the end of the season.
The meeting between Cobh and Treaty will bring an interesting sub plot with former Treaty Academy Lead Shane Keegan departing last week to become manager of the Rams and this will be the former Wexford manager’s first game in charge of his new club. Keegan was thankful to Treaty for his brief time at the club and Treaty expressed their own gratitude on social media.
However, all pleasantries will be laid to one side when the teams renew rivalries on Friday. This is the third meeting between the two teams this season with both previous encounters ending in draws. In the first game at Colman’s Park, it ended in a 0-0 draw with neither side creating many clear-cut chances to win. Recently, in the meeting at the Markets Field, Treaty took an early lead thanks to a goal from Marc Ludden but Cobh responded and were leading 1-2 before Ludden scored his second penalty of the evening to equalise.
Treaty will be hoping that Cobh do not get the new bounce that seems to inevitably envelope football clubs upon the appointment of a new manager. Tommy Barrett will be hoping to have the services of Marc Ludden and Enda Curran who both sat out the defeat to Cork while Jack Brady will be expected to regain his position in goals following a period as second choice to Conor Winn. Whether Barrett decides to revert to the 4-4-2 formation which has been deployed in recent weeks, remains to be seen and probably depends on the fitness of Curran to partner top scorer Dean George.
Barrett admits the game with Cobh will be tough but thinks his team can get a positive result on Friday night. : “It will be tough as I am sure they will get a new manager bounce. They will be looking at the result here tonight (0-5 loss to Cork) and they will think they can get at us. They have a really good squad and as I said previously, I tried to sign a couple of their players that can’t get in their starting 11. I back our lads to get a positive result down there. We have a good resilient group and they are very professional in their attitude.”
The Airtricity Women’s National League returns this weekend following a 2 week break and Treaty will host title challenging Shelbourne at the Markets Field on Saturday (5pm). Shels are in great form under former Limerick FC manager Noel King and hold a five-point lead at the top of the table.
Treaty are currently cut adrift at the bottom which their solitary point coming from a home draw with Sligo Rovers. There are 8 points separating Treaty and Cork City. Treaty were dealt a blow last weekend with the news that talented players Nicole Nix and Aine Walsh who were part of the team who won the U-17 league title with Treaty last season, have joined Wexford Youths.
To hear the view of Sporting Limerick soccer analyst Noel O’Connor on this week’s ‘Soccer Scene’ podcast ahead of the game, click on the link below: