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Archive for September, 2011

Shels Down 10 Man Town

September 26, 2011 Leave a comment

Saturday 24th Deptember 2011. AIrtricity League Division 1
Athlone Town 0-2 Shelbourne.

A unmarked header inside the opening 5 minutes, and another inside the closing 5 minutes, gave Shelbourne a 2-0 win over Athlone on Saturday night to maintain their course at the top of Division 1.

With Shels having a by far bigger and more physical side Town were always going to be under pressure, and preperations were dealt a blow as early as the warm up when Mark Walsh, experiencing vision problems, had to withdraw fom the line up.

In the opening minutes, Conan Byrne popped up score an unchallenged header from Brendan McGills cross to add to Towns woes, but despite the visitors having the lions share of possession the home side held on for the rest of the half to ensure no more goals passed.

Things got worse for Athlone in the second half when referee Jim McKell bizarrly sent off Town centre half Paul Danaher after his challenge saw the ball smack Kevin Dawson in the face face. Neither the Shels player, nor physio who was called on to the pitch, could tell what the straight red was for as Danaher received his marching orders.

Down to 10 men, Athlone introduced Mark Sherlock to the attack to give more striking options. However although causing problems for the Shelbourne defence, it proved too little too late as with less than 5 minutes to go Shels took advantage of the extra man to double their advantage when Philly Hughes sent a looping header over everyone and inside the side netting of the goal.

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Stephen Relihan in an ariel challange with Shels captain David Cassidy

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Pride Restored

September 18, 2011 Leave a comment

Saturday 17th September 2011. Airtricity League Division 1
Longford Town 0-2 Athlone Town. Flancare Park.

After getting a drubbing of a lifetime a week earlier, the only possible way to make amends would be winning an away leg of El Classico in the next game. And on Saturday night thats exactly what Athlone Town did!

With a number of changes from the previous week, Noel McGee and Declan Fallon were restored to the starting eleven, while Roy King was also given a start in the middle of the park.

To their credit, each and every one of the Athlone players gave it their all and went a long way to banishing the memory of the previous weekends fiasco.

Athlone got themselves in front inside the opening 10 minutes when Kevin Williamsons cross was met by Noel McGee at the back post and the Town striker made no mistake from close range.

Another 10 minutes into the game and Athlone doubled their advantage with McGee again on the scoresheet. Opinions are divided on the circumstances around the goal with Longford keeper Paul Hunt seeing red for fouling the striker and conceeding a penalty. McGee, having been brought to ground by the keeper, picked himself up and dusted himself off before slotting the spot kick past substitute goalkeeper Noel Cullen.

Efforts from Damien Rushe and Roy King came close afterwards but for the rest of the game the young Longford keeper remained untested.

In the second half Athlone sat back and seemed to drop a gear as Longford went in search of a comeback. With claims for a penalty of their own turned down the home fans, and bench were livid. Longford could have pulled 1, if not 2 back but for some wayward shooting and some dogged defending , and so the 4th and final El Classico of the 2011 season ended with a 2-0 away win for Athlone Town.

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Noel McGee is taken down by Paul Hunt.

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Rubin Rumble Rovers

September 16, 2011 Leave a comment

Thurs 15th September 2011. Europa League
Shamrock Rovers 0-3 Rubin Kazan

“It’ll be a tough one, but so long as we don’t conceed an early goal we could do Ok” … was the comment made to me by a Rovers fan just before kick off … unfortunately 3 minutes later the hands were in the heads as the 26 year old (apparently!) Obafemi Martins nipped ahead of Enda Stevens to direct the ball past Ryan Thompson giving Rubin Kazan an early lead.

Kazan could have doubled their lead before the break when they were awarded a penalty but Ryan Thompson stood tall and dived right to save Nelson Valdez spot kick. For the rest of the game however, the Jamacian shot stopper seemed nervous and very indecisive.

Kazan started the 2nd half in similar fashion as the 1st, with an early goal. This time Ecuadorian midfielder Christian Noboa unleashed a powerful drive from distance to double the advantage. Rovers to their credit didnt lie down and had plenty of chances to pull a goal or 2 back but alas none of their attacks ended with a favourable finish. The tie was effectively over on the hour mark when Gokdeniz Karadeniz sent a thunderous drive into the top corner to treble the visitors advantage.

Rovers did have a prime opportunity though to pull 1 back when Gary Twigg was taken down in the box and Stephen O’Donnell stepped up to take the penalty. Strangly though, Rovers themselves delayed the kick so as to make a substitution and when O’Donnell eventually got to strike, the keeper was equal to it.

And so Rovers first foray into Europa League group stages ended in disappointment but credit to the fans for creating an athmosphere befitting the historic encounter.

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Obafemi Martins celebrates scoring Rubin Kazans opening goal

Hooperman tries to rally the crowd at half time

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First Win For Town U19s

September 12, 2011 Leave a comment

Monday 12th September 2011. League of Ireland u19s
Athlone Town 1-0 Galway United.

A second half strike from substitute Alan Coffey gave Athlone Town all 3 points and their 1st win in the new League of Ireland Under 19 League.

With the sides level at the break, Athlone stepped up a gear in the second half and had it not been for some brave goalkeeping from the Galway netminder, along with rushed shots from the Athlone attack the score could have read a lot more for the home team.

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Brian Gill plays a through ball during Mondays Under 19's clash in Lissywollen

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Garrycastle Go Through To Final

September 12, 2011 Leave a comment

Sunday 11th September 2011. Westmeath Snr Championship
Garrycastle 2-17…2-8 Tyrrellspass.

Garrycastle booked their place in their 3rd Senior County Final in a row with 9 points to spare over Tyrrellspass at Cusack Park. Paddy Mulvihill gave them a 1st half boost with a well taken goal from play before slotting a penalty home after Conor Cosgrove was taken down as he ran through on goal.

For Tyrrellspass, Martin Flanagan in midfield brought the expected danger but David O’Shaughnessy and Seanie O’Donoghue were more than able to combat him.

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Des Dolan is hauled to the ground by Tyrrellspass midfielder Adrian Corcoran

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Seventh Heaven For Cork

September 11, 2011 Leave a comment

Saturday 10th September 2011. Airtricity League Division 1
Athlone Town 0-7 Cork City

Despite the final scoreline, this match remained scoreless for the opening 30 minutes of play although for that half hour Cork appeared to be mearly toying with Athlone.

Towns one and only tactic seemed to be to launch the ball forward for Garry Higgins to run on it, however for that to work they needed to be able to get the ball … something they barely achieved all game.

Athlone came completely undone in the last 15 minutes of the first half. Firstly Derek O’Brien netted after having one off the bar. Two minutes later Daryl Horgan saw his effort come back off the crossbar too, with Davin O’Neill ready to pounce on the rebound to make it 2-0. Just before the break Shane Duggan effectively ended the contest with a well placed shot into the top corner.

Cork started the second half in much the same fashion as they ended the first with Shane Horgan netting number 4. Derek O’Brien notched up his brace just after the hour mark before Danny Murphy scored number 6, much to the delight of the travelling supporters as they blasted out a rendition of “Can we play you every week”.

Just before the full time whistle, Athlones embarrassment was complete when substitute Vinny Sullivan rounded off the seven-nil hammering to keep Corks promotion hopes alive and well.

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Kevin Williamson tries to stop Daryl Horgans advances on goal.

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Town 19’s Remain Unbeaten

September 6, 2011 Leave a comment

Sunday 4th September 2011. League of Ireland Under 19.
Athlone Town 1-1 Cobh Ramblers.

A Niall Boland free kick in the second half earned Athlone Town a well deserved share of the spoils against a strong Cobh Ramblers side, who the previous week stuck 5 past Galway. Town were in a position to field no less than 6 players with senior squad experience, with Eoin Monaghan and Robbie Murray playing their part in the first team win over Salthill the night before.

Athlone had a number of chances to win the game with Boland going close with a couple of long range efforts, however Cobh can feel aggreived for not getting the rub of the green with a number of refereeing decisions.

Athlone make it 2 draws from 2 game so far and next up is a home tie to a Galway side that have conceeded 9 goals in their opening 2 games.

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Eoin Monaghan whips the ball away from David Curran

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