Home > 2012, Athlone Town 2012, Football, Irish Soccer, July 2012 > Even Stevens In El Classico Part III

Even Stevens In El Classico Part III

Saturday 7th July 2012. Airtricity League Division 1
Longford Town 0-0 Athlone Town

Despite injuries, suspensions and retirements, Athlone Town travelled to Flancare Park in a battling mood to earn a hard fought scoreless draw with table toppers Longford Town, in the third instalment of the 2012 El Classico series.

Pat Jennings, the saviour in so many matches since his arrival, was called into action inside the opening 10 minutes when he pushed Thomas Crawley’s powerful drive over the bar from close range to keep the game scoreless.

While the home side enjoyed most of the possession, they just had no end product for the majority of the half. Athlone battled hard with Damien Rushe and Kevin Williamson reverting to the roles of full backs due to injuries. Williamson in particular was kept busy for the half with Longford routing most attacks through Gary Shaw, but determination and tough tackling ensured the former Bray striker had little or no clear efforts.

Noel McGee, absent from recent starting line ups, came close to giving Athlone a first half lead but his attempted lob was just wide of Craig Hyland’s left hand post.

The second half played out much as the first with Jennings again pulling off a save that even had the home crowd applauding.
It was a case of “cant score, wont score” for Longford with Alan Kirby, Colly James and Jamie Duffy all spurning glorious chances in front of goal. Duffy in particular was on the receiving end of most of the crowds anger, with plenty of references to his “boy band” career along with suggestions he go back to the family business of the circus.

Athlone had their chances too, with Brian Gill bursting through Longford’s midfield and defence to set up Jordon Conroy but the latest youths team graduate sliced his shot in front of goal. Conroy almost broke the deadlock late on but was unlucky to see his shot beat Hyland, but creep the wrong side of the post.

Deep in injury time Athlone thought they were going to be awarded a penalty as Noel McGee appeared to have his ankle tapped as he powered through on goal, but alas, as with pretty much every game this season, the appeal was waved away.

And so at the third time of asking Athlone Town earned a point in El Classico, and while it wasn’t the classic most fans dream of, it was a resolute and encouraging display from Athlone to keep them in the push for promotion.

Click Here For More Photos From Longford Town v Athlone Town

Val Feeney and Damien Rushe double up to stop former Athlone midfielder Mark Salmon

Click Here For More Photos From Longford Town v Athlone Town

Longford fans fly their banner against Athlone

Click Here For More Photos From Longford Town v Athlone Town

Strictly Come Dancing – Longford Edition

Click Here For More Photos From Longford Town v Athlone Town

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