Home > 2012, April 2012, Athlone Town 2012, Irish Soccer, Misc Football > Athlone Survive Friday The 13th Horror

Athlone Survive Friday The 13th Horror

Friday 13th April 2012.Airtricity League Division 1
Waterford United 1-1 Athlone Town.

Athlone Town put an end to their losing streak with a hard fought 1-1 draw in difficult circumstances at the Waterford RSC on Friday night, however it could have turned to a win had it not been for some horrific decisions from the officials.

Waterford started the brighter of the two sides and were rewarded inside the opening 15 minutes when Gary Dempsey unleashed an unstoppable drive into the top corner of the net from the edge of the penaly area. Up to then, Towns chances were restricted to a few pot shots from Noel McGee that failed to trouble Packie Holden in the Waterford goal.

Athlone then began to knock the ball around a bit better and after some good work from Garvan Broughall, the returning Niall Scullion sent in a perfectly weighted cross to Noel McGee who smashed a header into the net from close range to level the game.

Less than 5 minutes later Town had the clearest penalty decision that was ever witnessed turned down after Mark Sherlock was upended not 10 yards from goal by Craig Burns. Despite referee Adriano Reale and assistant Michelle O’Neill having clear views of the incident neither wanted to make the call and so they waved play on. Even Waterford fans in the ground were all in agreement of the blatent foul.

As tempers and emotions flaired, McGee found himself in the referees book for dissent and a continued rant seconds later saw him sent off. McGee may have escaped the sending off had it not been for Waterfords Packie Holden vivaciously demanding the punishment. Bad enough a player trying to get an opponent sent off for a foul but it is a sad state of affairs when they have to resort to looking for red cards for protesting decisions. And shocking decisions at that.

As the second half got under way the Athlone players rallied around each other and fought hard to maintain the scoreline. Their cause wasnt helped when Garvan Broughall was forced off for treatment after being on the receiving end of a Seamus Long elbow. Ironicially Holden seemed less than interested in reporting that one to the referee. While Broughall received treatment from both the Athlone physio and Waterford doctor, and had been given a replacement blood jersey, the 4th official twice refused to allow him back on the pitch as he wasnt happy with the clean up job. Due to the amount of time wasting at this stage, and with Athlone down to 9 men, it proved quicker to substitute Broughall for Kevin Williamson.

Waterford continued to throw the kitchen sink at Athlone with Pat Jennings becoming the hero of the hour with a string of fine saves to earn the draw for Athlone.

Click Here For More Photos From Waterford Utd v Athlone Town

It was always going to be a Friday the 13th horror show from the officials right from when the referee dropped the coin

Click Here For More Photos From Waterford Utd v Athlone Town

Garvan Broughall dives in to take the ball away from Ben Ryan

Click Here For More Photos From Waterford Utd v Athlone Town

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