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Archive for January, 2013

Hail, Rain And A League Title For Town 19’s

Sunday 27th January 2013. League of Ireland U19
Galway United ST 1-5 Athlone Town

As the hailstones pelted down on a horrid evening in Galway, Athlone Town inflicted a 5-1 defeat on their hosts to secure the League of Ireland Southern Division League title with a game to spare!

Jordon Conroy opened the scoring early in the game with a well struck angled shot that left the GUST keeper rooted to the ground. While Conroys pace was causing all sorts of problems to the Galway defense, at the other end Ronan Morris was a pillar of strength as he dealt with everything thrown at him. David Brookes had a tough battle in midfield with Junior Iyawe, while Brian Duhan proved to be a handful up front for. Despite Eoin McCormack and Dylan McCabe launching wave after wave of attack, Athlone couldn’t find a second goal before the half time break.

Barely 2 minutes into the second half, Ian Sweeney took a layer of paint off the crossbar as his powerful shot from distance was just too high to count. Just a minute later, with most of the spectators still finishing off their half time tea, substitute Danny Campion earned Athlone a penalty, and Sweeney made no mistake from the spot.

Town started to step up a gear and, once again, the crossbar foiled Ian Sweeney before Conroy notched up his brace. Next to get in on the act was center half Ronan Morris, who made it 4-0, bundling the ball into the net from close range in a crowded area.

As the game moved into the final stages, Patrick Madden pulled one back for the home side with a well placed shot that curled around the diving Brian Redmond in the Town goal. But GUSTs joy was short lived as Roy King put the finishing touch to a deserved win with a late strike to make it 5.

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Ian Sweeney, Danny Campion (13) and David Brookes celebrate with Jordan Conroy after the striker scored his second goal of the game

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Convincing Win Keeps Town On Track For Title

Mon 21st January 2013.  League of Ireland U19
Athlone Town 4-0 Wexford Youths

On a cold evening, at the Roscommon & District League grounds in Lecarrow, Athlone Towns Under 19’s maintained their 4 point lead at the top of the table with a convincing 4-0 win over Wexford Youths.

First half  goals from Jordan Conroy and Danny Campion set Athlone well on their way to victory against a depleted visiting squad. Wexford battled hard but they lacked creativity and power up front, with Town keeper Brian Redmond rarely troubled during the game.

With the second half came 2 more goals when Conroy bagged his brace before Ian Sweeney rounded things off on the stroke of full time.

While both sides made substitutions during the second half, the most notable change of the game came in the closing stages when the linesman pulled up with a hamstring injury. With no 4th official, and after a quick discussion with both dugouts, the flag was passed to the first willing spectator who, it must be said, performed admirably under pressure from the crowd!

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David Brookes tries to stop Wexford breaking from midfield

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The stand in linesman looks on during Athlone Towns U19 clash with Wexford Youths

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Late Equaliser Keeps Town On Course

Saturday 12th January 2013. League of Ireland U19
Athlone Town 3-3 Limerick FC

A powerful header, in the final minute of normal time, from Ronan Morris earned Athlone Town a share of the spoils against League rivals Limerick FC in a heated affair at Lissywollen. The result maintains Towns 4 point lead over Limerick, with 3 games to play.

Along with both sides battling for top spot in the table, the fixture had the added interest of former Athlone player Tommy Barret in charge of Limerick, Val Feeney swapping sides after the senior season finished, and former CEO John O’Sullivan also making a recent Shannonside switch.

Right from the kick off Athlone looked to be cruising, with goals from Ian Sweeney and Dylan McCabe inside the opening half hour setting them on the right track. Eoin McCormack was a constant thorn in Limericks side as he ran their defence ragged along the left wing, while the central defenders were no match for Jordon Conroys pace.
However, despite having the upper hand, a five minute spell of complacency saw the visitors pull 2 goals back to ensure a nervous end to the half.

The second half started as the first ended, with Limerick pushing forward in search of a winner. With 15 minutes played in the half, almost inevitably, Val Feeney popped up to place a well struck shot past Town keeper Jamie Coyne.

As the half went on, tempers flared both on and off the pitch with every decision venomously questioned by the offending players, bench and supporters. While Coyne dealt well with everything Limerick threw at him, at the other end Athlone shaved the post and almost cracked the crossbar with efforts in a constant spell of attacking.

With just seconds of normal time remaining, Athlone forced a series of corners and were eventually rewarded when center half Ronan Morris rose highest in the box to send a header into the top corner of the net. With heated exchanges from players and management, Limerick ended the game with 10 men while Athlone manager Mickey Collins watched the large amount of injury time from the stand.

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Ian Sweeney puts Athlone into the lead against Limerick.

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Ronan Morris celebrates scoring a last gasp equaliser for Athlone.

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Late Late Show Sees Ballymun Advance

Sun 6th January 2013. FAI Junior Cup Round 5
St Peters 0-1 Ballymun Utd

A glancing header in the final minutes of normal time secured an FAI Junior Cup 5th Round win for Ballymun United over St Peters at McCarthy Park.

With heavy rain overnight, St Peters 1st pitch was deemed unplayable due to the corner of the pitch holding some water. With fears the game would be postponed, and replayed in Dublin midweek, the St Peters committee got to work to have the 2nd pitch ready for action.

Ballymun came close to taking an early lead when Ian Dempseys attempted clearance spun back off his boot and looped over Keith Hynes in the St Peters goal, before rebounding back off the post.

With chances on both sides, albeit without many hitting the target, St Peters came close to breaking the deadlock late in the half when Mark Sherlock stung the hands of visiting keeper David Conroy. Conroy recovered quickly to block Pascal Dillons follow up, and so the half ended scoreless.

The heavy pitch looked to be taking its toll on both sets of players, with the visitors suffering more with cramp setting in not long after the hour mark. As the game went on it looked like Peters would battle their way to extra time, as in the previous round, however with barely a minute of normal time left, Paul Kane sent a glancing header into the top corner of the net to earn the visitors a hard fought win and a place in the FAI Junior Cup 6th Round.

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Ian Dempsey slides in with a determined challenge

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Peter O’Reilly takes legs, ball and all from Adrian Carberry

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