Home > 2012, Athlone Town 2012, Football, Irish Soccer, June 2012 > Athlone Hit By Bolts From The Blues

Athlone Hit By Bolts From The Blues

Fri 22nd June 2012. Airtricity League Division 1
Athlone Town 1-4 Waterford United

41 days after Athlone’s last home game, the Town were left shell shocked with a 4-1 defeat in Fridays come back game at Lissywollen. Despite the scoreline indicating a hammering, the game itself told a different story with Athlone unlucky not to take something from the game.

Good performances from Ian Sweeney and Val Feeney in Towns last game saw the youthful duo retain their place in the team while Kevin Williamson was recalled to first team duty with Brian Gill suspended.

As with the meeting of the sides earlier in the season, penalty shouts formed a large part of Athlones demise with the first of 4 appeals turned down inside the opening 10 minutes when Gary Dempsey appeared to handle the ball inside the area. Waterford reacted to the threat straight away on the attack and had it not been for the outstretched leg of Pat Jennings they could have taken an early lead. Sean Maguire proved to be a constant threat to Athlone with the player using his low center of gravity to great effect to twist and turn the home defence to keep possession.

With just over half a hour played, Waterford got some luck when an in swinging corner struck Mark Sherlock on the head and as the Town defence stood rooted to the ground, Peter White directed the ball into the bottom corner of the net unchallenged.

As the break loomed, Athlone had their second penalty claim waved away when Sherlock went to ground after some good work to keep the ball in play at the end line and muscle into the penalty area and on to the 6 yard box.

The introduction of Noel McGee early in the second half gave Athlone a boost with both himself and Mark Sherlock having chances to draw level. Ian Sweeney was next to lose a penalty appeal when he ran on to a long Jennings clearance only to have his heals clipped as he ran towards goal.

Typically, with so many chances up front, concentration at the back lapsed and a quick break saw Paul Phelan square the ball to Sean Maguire and the lively forward made no mistake when he got his chance.

Five minutes later, lady luck finally shone on Athlone when Noel McGee was fouled as he was about to strike on goal. This time Ray Matthews showed no hesitation to point to the spot giving Athlone a life line. McGee stepped up to send Packie Holden the wrong way and get Athlone back into the game with twenty minutes left.

With Athlone throwing the kitchen sink at Waterford, Tommy Barrett, Jason Hughes, Mark Sherlock, Ian Sweeney and Noel McGee all came close to leveling the game. However pushing everything up front left the back exposed and after a point blank save from Jennings, Waterford launched wave after wave of attack with Phelan again the provider on the break as Peter Keegan slotted home in the 90th minute despite calls for offside. Three minutes into injury time Maguire got his second of the evening with a fine solo goal to put the icing on the cake for United.

On a positive note though, Athlones player development continued with Ethan Keogh the latest to progress from the Youths to a First Team debut, while Ronan Morris took a place in the matchday squad.
Credit must go to the underage management of Mickey Collins & Alan McCaul as more and more players are making the transition.

On a negative note, and unfortunately not for the first time this season, Waterford United keeper Packie Holden was determined to get opposition players booked as he screamed at the ref to produce cards for almost every challenge.

Click Here For More Photos From Athlone Town v Waterford United

Sean Maguire holds on to the ball under pressure from Joe Woods and Jason Hughes

Click Here For More Photos From Athlone Town v Waterford United

Val Feeney takes a heavy challenge from Paul Carey

Click Here For More Photos From Athlone Town v Waterford United

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