Home > 2013, April 2013, Athlone Town, Football, Irish Soccer > Honours Even At Fahys Field

Honours Even At Fahys Field

Friday 26th April 2013. Airtricity League Division 1
Mervue United 2-2 Athlone Town.

A late penalty, deep into injury time, earned Athlone an unlikely share of the spoils after a brace from Mervue defender Stephen Walsh looked to have sealed all three points for the home side.

Athlone started with two personnel changes from last week, with Rod Collins Jnr making an immediate return to the starting line up at the expense of Niall Scullion, while Aidan Collins returned from injury as Conor McMahon sat out the game with tonsillitis. There was still no place in the side for Vice Captain Neil Harney, while fans favorites Noel McGee and Niall Lanigan were absent from the match day squad.

Mervue’s Marc Ludden opened the scoring just before the half hour mark, however unfortunately for the full back it was into his own net! As Ludden attempted a sliding clearance from Philly Gormans low cross into the box, he steered the ball past his own keeper to give Athlone the lead.

The lead lasted barely a minute though after some confusion in the Athlone box saw the ball bobble around between players before Stephen Walsh’s shot from close range deflected into the net for the equaliser.

Mervue came close to taking the lead just minutes later as, under pressure, Paul Skinner uncharacteristically failed to catch a ball into the box. As Skinner, Garvan Broughall and 2 Mervue players all fell down from the air, Barry Clancy scooped the ball away to safety.

Early in the second half both sides had chances to take the lead, with Philly Gorman sending a diving header over the bar from close range, while Noel Varley kept Paul Skinner on his toes.

Just over an hour into the match, Walsh popped up to score his second, again with the aid of a deflection, when his powerful strike from distance flew past Skinners right side and into the bottom corner of the net.

Tempers flared on both sides as the game moved into the final third, with some refereeing decisions not finding favor with either manager.

With the game entering its allotted three minutes of injury time, it looked like Mervue had done enough to win the match until Ian Sweeney broke through on goal to chip the ball over the diving Brian O’Donoghue. With the large, and very vocal, Athlone crowd thinking the ball had gone in, O’Donoghue somehow managed to get his trailing knee to the ball as he fell in the opposite direction. Moments later the Mervue keeper again got down well to save from Sweeney and as the ball came back out, the whistle went, but it was not to announce full time as everyone expected; instead it was to signal a penalty to Athlone, much to the confusion of the crowd, players and management.

With the last meaningful kick of the game, Philly Gorman stepped up and calmly sent O’Donoghue the wrong way from the spot to hi-jack a point for Athlone at the death.

Click Here For Full Set From Mervue United 2-2 Athlone Town

Ian Sweeney celebrates with Philly Gorman after the strikers injury time penalty secured a point for Athlone

Click Here For Full Set From Mervue United 2-2 Athlone Town

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