It was a week bookended by off the field news of contrasting nature in the SSE Airtricity League. The week started with a press release from the FAI stating that attendances were up by an average of 17% after the first round of games, it ended with a press release from the FAI stating that along with UEFA they were investigating unusual betting patterns in games involving First Division side Athlone Town. Three games in total have been highlighted so far with Athlone themselves releasing a strong statement stating that there has been no wrongdoing on their part. Athlone were taken over in pre-season by a Portugese & Chinese consortium who had previously approached two other clubs in the league.
One of those was Cobh Ramblers whom Athlone played on Friday night and duly beat 2-1. That defeat for Cobh meant that Waterford were able to reclaim top spot as they defeated Shelbourne 1-0.
UCD are up to second as they were 2-0 winners at home to bottom side Wexford. The remaining game in the division saw Cabinteely and Longford Town play out a goalless draw.
In the Premier Division new Sligo Rovers manager Gerard Lyttle got his first win since he was appointed as his side beat Limerick 3-0 in the Showgrounds. Raffaele Cretaro, Jonah Ayunga and Kieran Sadlier with the goals. Cretaro’s was an historic one as it means he moves up to second on the club’s all-time top goal scorers list with 83.
Two other former Rovers managers were in the news during the week as Paul Cook’s Portsmouth won the Sky Bet League Two and Ian Baraclough was appointed as the manager of the Northern Ireland U-21 side.
Despite drawing 1-1 at home to St. Patrick’s Athletic, Bray Wanderers are up to second in the league. Ryan Brennan gave Bray Wanderers the lead with Kurtis Byrne scoring the equaliser.
Dundalk drop to third as they were beaten 2-1 at Tallaght Stadium by Shamrock Rovers. Goals from Ronan Finn and David McAllister gave Shamrock a 2-0 lead with Niclas Vemmelund getting a goal back in stoppage time.
Derry City are starting to get their season back on track after the untimely loss of their club captain Ryan McBride, they beat Bohemian FC 2-0 at home thanks to strikes from Dean Jarvis and Aaron McEneff.
Galway United remain bottom of the table despite twice coming from behind to draw 2-2 with Drogheda United. Adam Wixted got both goals for Drogheda with Padraic Cunningham and Jesse Devers scoring for Galway.
They are left last in this wrap up if only because of predictability as Cork City won again beating Finn Harps 5-0 in Turner’s Cross. Sean Maguire scored with Stephen Dooley, Gearoid Morrissey and Ryan Delaney getting the others. John Caulfield’s side have now won their opening twelve league games and are fourteen points clear at the top of the table.