Home > 2012, Athlone Town 2012, August 2012, Football, Irish Soccer > Easy Deacy As Salthill Down 9 Man Town

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

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