Archive for October, 2012

Athlone Snatch Defeat From The Jaws Of Victory

Saturday 13th October 2012. Airtricity League Division 1
Athlone Town 2-3 Waterford United

In a game that summed up the season, Athlone Town finished off the year with a 3-2 defeat at the hands of promotion hopefuls Waterford United on bitter cold evening at Lissywollen.

The game, scheduled for 7.45pm kick off, was delayed until 8pm and then 8.10pm as the Town suffered floodlight issues for the second home game in a row. With all eventually sorted, the start was further delayed when the referee assistant noticed a tear in the nets. When the game eventually got underway, more drama ensued when gounds man ran on to the field mid game, pitch fork in hand, to replace a divot as the 4th official looked on in a panic.

Athlone started the game brightly and were thrown a rare bit of luck when Jamie Cross saw red after a two footed lunge at Shane Dunne. Despite winning the ball, with the studs showing, referee Jim McKell had no hesitation in producing the card.

Even with the numerical advantage, Athlone just couldn’t seem to get a final break through, while at the other end Gareth Higgins making his first team debut between the posts made some fine saves to keep the game level going into the break.

With the second half came some rare Athlone optimism when Val Feeney cut in from the wing to fire a fantastic left foot strike into the net to take the lead. Ten minutes later Waterford, who fielded a mix of squad and Under 19 players, were level through Conor Coad. Their joy was short lived though as Niall Scullion was finally rewarded five minutes later with his first of the season as he rounded Robert Hughes to put Athlone in front again.

Ecstasy turned to agony in the final five minutes as Coad popped up to draw things level. Then as Athlone tried to rest the front men, Ethan Keogh came on, however instead of signalling Number 10 for Mark McGoldrick to be replaced, the 4th official accidentally put up 3 and left full Garvan Broughall left the field. As the Athlone bench looked on in amazement the 4th official checked, double checked and then rechecked the substitution slip before admitting “human error” on his part. With the personnel mix up, Shane Dunne reverted to full back and from an attack started down that side, Ben Ryan scored a last minute winner for Waterford to boost their confidence ahead of next weekends play off semi final against Longford.

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Val Feeney gets into a tangle with Conor Coad

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Athlones groudsman is escorted off the field by the 4th official and assistant referee

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No Cat In The Sack As Ireland Suffer World Cup Set Back

Friday 12th October 2012. World Cup 2014 Qualifier
Republic of Ireland 1-6 Germany

Ireland suffered their heaviest ever defeat at the upgraded Lansdowne Road stadium when Germany inflicted a 6-1 drubbing as the 51,000 strong crowd looked on in dismay.

For the opening 10 to 15 minutes or so it appeared like Ireland were on course to contain the opposition, however then the German machine took over with the ball spread around almost telepathically between Schweinsteiger, Ozil, Boateng and Khedira in every attack.

With half an hour played, Germany eventually broke the deadlock when Marco Reus and Miroslav Klose tried to push each other off the ball before the former eventually won out and fired a shot past Kieron Westwood in the Ireland goal. Ten minutes later Reus bagged his brace as the Germans cut through the home midfield and defence like a hot knife through butter.

The second half did little to encourage the home support when less than 10 minutes in Germany netted their third goal via an Ozil penalty after Darren O’Dea needlessly brought down Klose inside the area. Klose finally got on the score sheet himself for Germany’s fourth as he slotted the ball past the advancing Westwood after another O’Dea mistake in defence.

Toni Kroos then provided the finish of the game as he latched on to John O’Sheas header to send a left footed volley through a gap in the Ireland defence with Westwood completely unsighted. Kroos then added his second with a powerful strike from distance before Andy Keogh scored a consolation goal, that provided absolutely no consolation, with a diving header just before the final whistle.

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Marco Reus opens the scoring for Germany under pressure from Miroslav Klose!!

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Mesut Ozil gets away from James McCarthy

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Lady Luck Shines On Limerick

Fri 28th September 2012. Airtricity League Division 1
Limerick FC 1-0 Athlone Town.

An 85th minute goal from substitute Sean Brosnan gave Limerick all 3 points, keeping them top of the table, in a game they could easily have finished with nothing.

With injury and suspensions to deal with, Athlone started with Neil Harney partnering Brian McCarthy at center back while Ross Kenny moved to his more familiar left full position. Sean Skelly, who was rumored to have left the club after his recent 4 match ban, returned from suspension to bolster the attacking options while Garvan Broughall got his first start since returning from work commitments in America.

Although Limerick proved the stronger of the sides, both physically and football wise, during the opening exchanges it was Athlone who almost took the lead inside 20 minutes when Mark Sherlocks curling shot rebounded off the post as Barry Ryan stood rooted to the ground in the middle of his goals. While Limerick retaliated with a number of attacks, they couldn’t find a way past Neil Harney who was a colossus at the heart of the Town defense as the first half ended scoreless.

Athlone started the second half as if they were at the upper end of the table with Sean Skelly unleashing a powerful shot that almost slipped through Ryans hands, before Mark Sherlock and Stephen Relihan had efforts deflected just wide and over the bar respectively.

Despite the frustration from the home fans at the way their team was being contained, while lucky to be level, they kept themselves entertained with a rendition of “He never cheats, he never lies, John Delaney is a lovely guy”, followed up with a jovial verse of “We’ll sing what we want, we’ll sing what we want, We’re unofficial so we’ll sing what we want”.

On the hour mark the Lims fans almost exploded with excitement only to see Dominic Foleys half volley come back off the post, while moments later Denis Behan was off target with a header.

At the game entered the final five minutes the home side eventually edged themselves in front when substitute Sean Brosnan was quickest to react in a goal mouth scramble to fire the ball home keeping Limerick on course for the Division 1 title as the crowd belted out Starships 1987 Number 1 hit “Nothings Gonna Stop Us Now”

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Corie Tracey tries to play leap frog with Garvan Broughall

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Match winner Sean Brosnan (#15) is mobbed by his team mates after scoring a late winner for Limerick

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