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Archive for March, 2010

Town Cant Breech Derry Walls

March 29, 2010 4 comments

Airtricity League – Division 1, Friday 26th March 2010
Derry City 1-0 Athlone Town

Town fell to their first defeat of the season in possibly the most lack lustre game I’ve ever had the misfortune of getting to. Although some “Navigation Issues” led to us missing the opening 15 minutes … and the goal … I almost wish I had missed more of the game (I’ll probably deny I ever made such a comment later!)!
Derry for their part were quite poor, a lot worse than I expected, and so while some thought a 1-0 defeat against the former Premier Division outfit was a “respectable result” …. anyone who was there would agree that City were definately there for the taking. The highight of the entire match, for me anyway, was seeing and listening to the passionate home support. They banged their drums (on a co-ordinated fashion) and belted out some chants to great effect … and they screamed blue murder at every little decision (right or wrong) that didnt go their way …. everything from being flagged 3 yards off-side to Athlone taking a free kick approximately 12 centimeters away from the actual foul!

And for future reference … The Brandywell is straight over the Craigavon Bridge … not the Foyle Bridge!!!

Stephen Place in an ariel challenge with Barry Molloy

Stephen Caffrey gets to the ball ahead of Mark Farren

Full Set HERE

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Tullamore Pop The Cherry

March 26, 2010 2 comments

Ford FAI Cup Replay – Thurs 25th March. Leah Victoria Park
Tullamore Town 4-1 Cherry Orchard

On a wet and horrible evening Tullamore Town advanced to the next stage of the FAI Cup with a demolition of Cherry Orchard in a 1st round replay. At the start of the game you could be forgiven for thinking it was an Athlone Town “Where Are They Now” event with Tadhg Murphy, Davy Byrne and “fans favourite” Alan McNevin lining out for Cherry Orchard. Not to be outdone, Tullamore had Cathal Joyce and Hafeez Sholola in the starting line up. Opening minutes were fairly even but once Tullamore got off the mark the Cherry Orchard heads dropped and they began arguing among themselves. Tullamore got a 2nd before former Athlone Town winger Alan McNevin pulled one back from the penalty spot before the break. As the rain got heavier in the 2nd half I headed back to base and missed Tullamores other 2 goals. From the 1st half display it was a well deserved win for the Midlands men.

Hafeeze Sholola gets to the ball ahead of Alan McNevin

singing in the rain! Tullamore manager Jimmy Greene celebrates the win

Full Set HERE

Willow Sink Celtic

March 24, 2010 2 comments

Sunday 21st March 2010 – Leinster Junior Cup
Willow Park 1-1 Sandyhill Celtic … Willow win 5-4 on pens aet.

Another game I could only stay for the 1st half and typical missed all the excitement of a shoot-out. Judging by the opening 45 minutes, there wasnt much to write home about but despite missing a number of players Willow battled hard and got their deserved reward when Colm Hyland found the net late in the half during a goal mouth scramble.

Sandyhill pulled level with a late equaliser before Willow won out with spot kicks.

Colm Hyland celebrates putting Willow 1 up

Mark McConnell gets away with a hand ball

Full set HERE

Right Place, Right Time

EA Sports Cup – Monday 22nd March 2010
Athlone Town 1-0 Longford Town

For the 2nd year running, Stephen Place scored in Towns opening EA Sports Cup match to send midland rivals Longford crashing out at the 1st hurdle.
Athlone used the Cup game as a chance to blood some of the reserves and Under 20’s and they didnt disappoint in a hard fought, if not pretty, battle aftainst a predominately first choice Longford team. “League Cup Longford Slaying Specialist”, Stephen Place headed home a Niall Scullion cross early in ther 2nd half to send Athlone through to a, not exactly mouth watering, away tie to UCD. Along with setting up the goal, Scully put in an action packed performance both in attack and on defensive duties. Stephen Relihan and Ronan Stack gave a decent account of themselves while Garvan Boughall made his competitive debut for Athlone, putting in some hefty challanges to ensure Athlone came out on top.

Match winner Stephen Place tries to charge down a clearance

Not even 2 Longford players were a match for Niall Scullion

Garvan Broughall marking his competitive debut with a win

Full set HERE

Town Fans Pay The Penalty

Monday 22nd March 2010

At half time of the EA Sports Cup game, Athlone Town and Longford fans transferred their rivalry from the stand to the penalty spot. With pride at stake, Davy Dully and David McKervey stood up to the plate for Athlone, while Marty Stapleton and Adrian Massop togged out for the visitors. Making a guest appearence between the posts was none other than Town Legend Austin Skelly. With a string of fine saves from the midfielder I think Benno and Schlinger might have a battle on their hands!!!

While the goals went in I think everyone lost count of how many kicks were taken until the “stand-in” PA Announcer declared Sudden Death. At least 5 more shots ensued before the pressure finally got to the Athlone men and a peno sailed high over the bar and most probably into someones kitchen in Brawny! Adrian Massop then kept a cool head to slot the final kick home earning the bragging rights, and free hot-dogs, for Longford.

Spot Kickers: Marty Stapleton, Adrian Massop, Austin Skelly, David McKervey and Davy Dully

David McKervey is mobbed by Leo The Lion after scoring his peno

Davy dully eyes up his spot

Skelly Saves!

Heartbreak as Davy Dully brings shame on the Town ....

Some gamesman ship from Ossie "Super Keeper" Skelly

Marty Stapleton keeps a cool head under pressure

Adrian Massop celebrates his goal

The contest ends with a gentlemans handshake

Town Fight Foras Fire

Airtricity League – Division 1. Saturday 20th March 2010.
Athlone Town 1-1 Cork City Foras Co-op

Athlone battled against 11 Cork players, 1 ref and 2 assistants at Athlone Town Stadium on Saturday night to maintain their unbeaten status and consolidate 2nd place in the table. While the opening minutes of the game played out fairly even steven in terms of possession and chances, Athlone showed no fear against the biggest name in Division 1 … a whopping, and abbreviated, 17 letters (not including the hyphen!).

Gareth Kenna put the icing on the cake of several impressive performances by scoring a fantastic cross to give Town the lead. However the lead didn’t last long with Foras equalising from a dubiously awarded penalty. Chris Bennion was millimetres away from keeping it out.

The ref, assisted by equally incompetent linos, only accurate call in the game was the starting whistle and a spate of cards and frees were dished out resulting in Des Hope getting his marching orders, with Kevin Williamson following him soon after. Both keepers were booked … McNulty for mouthing and Bennion for time wasting. Although for Bennions, the referee did not signal to continue play. Another ref reliably informs me that they do not need to whistle for it but should indicate with a wave or something. This referee did neither and as Bennion began his run to take the kick, he was halted mid stride to be booked.

Then, with Dave Rogers playing the entire world on … a Noel McGee volley was ruled out for off side and so the game ended honours even!

Finally the Corkies can stop giving out about being victimised by officials and its fair to say, in Cork speak, that Athlone were well and truly “Ridden Rock Solid”

(A word of thanks to Ray who loaned me his Canon 70-200 for the game … hopefully mine will arrive soon!)

Another good performance, with a goal to boot, for midfielder Gareth Kenna

Erm ... caption competition anyone???

Eoghan O

Full set HERE

Stadium Safety

March 21, 2010 1 comment

Saturday 20th March 2010

With FAI Licencing being enforced more thoroughly, stadium safety has been highlighted … highlighted bright yellow! To tick the boxes, Athlone Town Stadium recently went under a mini makeover to comply, and it now joins the Pyramids of Giza as one of the few structures visible from space.

Athlone Town Stadium, complete with glow in the dark stand

The Golden Gates ...

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