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

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