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Archive for August, 2012

Town Call Time On Kerleys Tenure

Tues 28th August 2012

In a press release issued earlier this morning, Athlone Town announced the departure of first team manager Mike Kerley with immediate effect.

From the statement:

Athlone Town FC can confirm that Padraig Moran will assume First Team responsibility for the remainder of the season following the departure of Mike Kerley.

While, with just 7 games remaining, the timing of the announcement may have come as a surprise to some supporters, many are also conscience that the club have picked up just 3 points out of a possible 21 in the past 7 games.

Recent defeats to Mervue United and SD Galway have somewhat overshadowed points picked up against higher placed Longford Town and Waterford United in that same period.

Kerley, appointed as manager in January 2011, leaves the club with a results record :
Played 51, Won 20, Draw 8, Lost 23.

Assistant Manager, Padraig Moran, now takes charge of the team for the remaining 7 games of the season.
A past player of the club, Moran has also had spells with St Peters, Hearts, Sligo Rovers, Derry City and Limerick 37 proir to joining the management team of his home town club in 2009.

Padraig Moran will take charge of Athlone for the remainder of the season, starting with this weekends El Clasico Midlands derby against Longford Town

While recent results and tactics may have left suporters with a negative impression, in the past 2 seasons Kerley assisted with the development of youth team members into key first team players, while he also guided Athlone to their first victory in Finn Park since 1992, when goals from Stephen Relihan and Brian McCarthy secured a 2-1 win.

AC Sports Images wish Mike the best of luck in the future and would like to wish Padraig the very best for the rest of the season.

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Easy Deacy As Salthill Down 9 Man Town

Fri 17th August 2012. Airtricity League Division 1
SD Galway 3-0 Athlone Town.

Salthill Devon not only recorded their first League of Ireland back to back wins, but also their first ever League of Ireland win over Athlone Town, as they ran out 3-0 winners in controversial circumstances at Deacy Park.

Athlone were dealt a blow before kick off when Damien Rushe didn’t emerge with the starting lineup from the dressing room, with Eric Molloy stepping into the team. The late personnel change meant Niall Scullion reverted to right back while Molloy played wide on the left wing. Sean Skelly took a place on the right wing while yet again Mark McGoldrick battled alone up front.

For the opening 20 minutes of the game the sides seemed evenly matched, which was mainly down to Athlone failing to string more than 3 consecutive passes together in any move. Salthill had a bit more bite about them with some off the ball incidents added to leaving he boot into sliding tackles in an attempt to rile the Athlone players. And rile them they did, with 20 minutes played, Eugene Greaney clashed with Sean Skelly and as the 2 players picked themselves up, Greaney took a swipe at Skellys ankle. Unfortunately for Athlone, Skelly reacted in the exact manner Salthill hoped by first simulating an elbow, before actually swinging back and making contact. While the officials didn’t pick up on the starting incident, Skellys actions were carried out less than 3 yards from the referee assistant and no more than 6 from the referee and so a straight red card was unavoidable.

Despite being at a numerical disadvantage, Athlone still coped well under pressure and went into the break level on the scoreboard but with the stronger finish to the half.

Five minutes into the second half all was to change though when Eugene Greaney picked up the ball just inside the Athlone half. After bringing the ball forward unchallenged, Greaney unleashed an absolute bullet of a shot that flew into Pat Jennings top right hand corner as the rain began to fall heavier.

The goal forced Athlone into a reaction with Noel McGee and Mark Sherlock entering the fray. While the substitutions gave Athlone a boost, Salthill grew in confidence pushing for more goals. Athlone had two claims for a penalty waved away in the one move when firstly a handball in the box went unnoticed and Noel McGees heals were clipped as he tried to get on to the deflected ball.

With Athlone pressing for an equaliser, they were caught on the break when Brian Gaffney turned Niall Scullion and made a burst towards goal. With the Town defence running back Brian McCarthy slid in from behind to foul Gaffney. Deemed to be the last man back, a sending off was inevitable, however in a fit of confusion referee Robert Harvey flashed the card to Niall Scullion, possibly thinking he was the offending player due to his chasing Gaffney after being turned.

From the resultant free kick just outside the box, Gaffney stepped up and sent a well placed kick over the wall and past Jennings who was rooted to the ground to double the home advantage.

Down to 9 men for the remaining 25 minutes was always going to take its toll, but despite that Athlone continued to make chances with Mark Sherlock poking a shot agonisingly into the side netting as the majority of the approx 60 spectators thought it slipped in.

Salthill on the other hand stepped up a gear and instead of holding on to what they had, they continued to push for another goal. With 10 minutes remaining they rounded off the victory when former Athlone player Mixie Harty slotted home from close range with the Town defence run ragged.

Click Here For Full Set From SD Galway v Athlone Town

Neil Harney battles with SD Galway goal scorer Eugene Greaney

Click Here For Full Set From SD Galway v Athlone Town

Terryland Park, now renamed Deacy Park in honour of Eamon “Chick” Deacy

Click Here For Full Set From SD Galway v Athlone Town

Athlone Make A Point

Fri 10th August 2012. Airtricity League Division 1
Waterford United 0-0 Athlone Town

With all predictions, previews and past meetings suggesting a comfortable home win, Athlone surprised all by pulling off a hard fought scoreless draw against Waterford United at the RSC on Friday evening.

A late fitness test ruled Stephen Last out of contention, making the way for Brian McCarthys comeback to 1st team action, while Sean Skelly was also handed his first competitive start for Town.

Athlone played the game with a mix of 4-5-1 and 4-3-3 formation with Skelly and Brian Gill occasionally playing supporting roles to Mark McGoldrick up front. As with recent matches, packing the midfield was the name of the game in an effort to stop the ball reaching the ever impressive Sean Maguire in the Waterford attack.

While Waterford expected a blanket defence, Athlone caught them off guard on a few first half occasions with McGoldrick and Skelly both having chances, but alas neither troubled Packie Holden in the home goals.

At the other end, Waterford constantly tried to feed the lively Maguire, but the outstretched leg, accompanied by the towering height of Brian McCarthy ensured the nippy forwards chances were limited.

After the break, despite half time substitute Noel McGee coming close with a diving header, it was Waterford who looked more likely to get on the score sheet with wave after wave of attack. The Athlone defence held though with the back four of Rushe, Woods, McCarthy and Williamson cutting out almost every attack while Shane Dunne put in yet another impressive battling performance in midfield.

Mark Sherlock was also introduced in the second half to bolster the 4-3-3 attacking options, however the nature of the game meant Sherlocks physical presence was utilised better in defence while McGoldrick battled on the left wing.

As the game was running out, Peter White had two glorious chances to seal all 3 points for the Blues but the midfielder couldn’t find the target. Waterfords woes were added to 10 minutes before time when Willie John Keily saw red after a lunging tackle upended Mark McGoldrick.

Even at a numerical disadvantage, Waterford seemed to dominate the game but the Town defence were equal to everything thrown at them to earn a tough but fair point.

Click Here For Full Set From Waterford United v Athlone Town

Barry O’Mahony shrugs off a challenge from Sean Maguire

Click Here For Full Set From Waterford United v Athlone Town

Garrycastle Sail Past Killucan

Friday 3rd August 2012. Senior Championship
Killucan 0-08 … 3-14 Garrycastle

While an evening of torrential rain left the town of Athlone twinned with Atlantis, just 10 miles away in Moate, Garrycastle cruised to a 15 point victory over Killucan in the Senior football championship.

While some spectators commented at Garrycastles seemingly weakened starting line up, they showed little or no sign of weakness with Minor team graduates Gary McCallon and Justin Barrett putting in good battling performances at corner and half back, while Sean Brennan kept his second chean sheet of the Championship since switching to goals.

Garrycastle got a lucky strike to set up the win when Conor Cosgroves long range free kick looped right over the Killucan goalkeeper and full back and straight into the net, as Patrick Mulvihill done everything he could to put the pair off balance under the high ball.

While the first was fortunate, there certainly was nothing lucky about the forwards second goal in the half as he unleashed a powerful drive to rattle the net and put Garrycastle into a commanding lead.

In the second half, Garrycastle marched on and while Killucan doubled their half time tally from 4 points to 8, a Patrick Mulvihill penalty ended all chances of a comeback and with the introduction of Gary Dolan, Aidan Browne and Johnny McGuire late in the half, the strenght in depth ensured a resounding win.

Click Here For Full Set From Killucan v Garrycastle

Enda Mulvihill and John Gaffey combine to block Paul Grevilles attack on goal

Click Here For Full Set From Killucan v Garrycastle

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