Archive for May, 2013

Whats Another Year…

Friday 24th May 2013. Airtricity League Division 1
Athlone Town 0-1 Waterford United

Before kick-off on Friday night, it was 13 years since Athlone’s last win over Waterford, and as the referee sounded the final whistle, that record remained intact as the Town failed to get a result against 10 man opposition.

Athlone started the game brightly, and they got an added boost when Waterford captain Seamus Long was shown a straight red card after hauling Ian Sweeney to the ground 20 yards from goal.
Before the incident, Athlone had their own woes after a collision between Aidan Collins head and Longs elbow left the Town captain needing attention to a nasty blood stained wound.

While Athlone attacked, fortunately for Waterford, goalkeeper Craig Hyland was in top form and made the save of the match at full stretch to deny Garbhan Coughlans excellent effort with the outside of the boot.

Although Athlone had the numerical advantage, it was Waterford that looked to have the extra man as they exploited Athlone’s defensive frailties and, but for a last ditch block from Robbie Clarke, could have went into the break a goal down.

The second half proved no better for Athlone as Waterford fought hard under the interim management of David Breen and John Frost.

With just over an hour played Waterford got their deserved, if fortunate, goal after a slip from Conor McMahon let Paul Quilty through on goal and his powerful shot deflected off Paul Skinners shoulder to creep in the right side of the post.

As the game entered the final ten minutes, Athlone were thrown a life line when Craig Hyland was harshly adjudged to have fouled Ian Sweeney in the penalty area. Up stepped Philly Gorman, a late goal scoring hero in recent outings, however his kick lacked any conviction and Hyland saved almost effortlessly to maintain Waterford’s 13 year record for at least another round of games.

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Rod Collins Jnr gets in a tangle with Michael Coady

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Aidan Collins receives treatment for a head injury

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Athlone Steal A Win At The Death

Friday 17th May 2013. Airtricity League Division 1
Salthill Devon 1-2 Athlone Town.

A Philly Gorman header, one minute from full time, gave Athlone all three points in a game they really looked lucky to be drawing against Salthill Devon in Drom.

The home team opened the scoring inside the opening ten minutes when Jakub Tomanica cut in on the left, skipping past Roddy Collins Jnr like he wasn’t there, to unleash a powerful shot that flew past Paul Skinner and into the top corner of the net.

Willie Enubele came close to doubling the lead but as he rose for a header, a mix up in communication saw his team mate Cian Fadden clatter into him and the danger was averted.

In midfield, Mark Hughes stepped up to the plate to combat the physical presence of former Town midfielder Mixie Harty, while Ryan Coombes dropped to the bench allowing Barry Clancy and Ian Sweeney play on the wings as Philly Gorman returned to partner Garbhan Coughlan up front.

And it was Coughlan who came closest to leveling in the first half but for a fine save from James Keane in the Salthill goal. More brave goalkeeper ensured Gorman didn’t get on the score sheet in the first half too, while Salthill themselves had chances with Enda Curran causing the Town defense problems in every attack.

Ten minutes into the second half Athlone pulled level when Ian Sweeney, who had a relatively quiet first half, placed the ball past Keane from close range after good work from Coughlan.

With chances both sides, and Salthill having more attacking play than Athlone, it looked like the visitors had done just enough to hang on for a point. That was until the final minute of normal time, when Philly Gorman rose to head the ball past Keane and in off the post for a last gasp winner.

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Conor McMahon tussles with Mixie Harty during Fridays encounter in Drom

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Town Ramble Home With A Point

Saturday 11th May 2013. Airtricity League Division 1
Cobh Ramblers 1-1 Athlone Town.

It finished honours even in St. Colman’s Park as a Conor Meade free kick cancelled out Ian Sweeney’s opening goal to earn Cobh a share of the spoils with Athlone Town.

Athlone started with with Philly Gorman on the bench, with Ian Sweeney playing in a more forward position and Barry Clancy on the wing, to cater for Mark Hughes return from suspension. It was a selection that surprised some Town fans considering Gormans effectiveness up front last week and Hughes relative anonymity in recent games. Garvan Broughall retained his place in the middle of the park and put in a his performance of the season.

While a draw was seen by many as a fair result on the night, Athlone will feel they could have taken more from the game as they enjoyed the majority of possession in the second half. However all the possession counted for nothing as they failed to trouble Cobh keeper Robert Birdsall with a single shot of note.

As per the sides previous meetings, the Cobh trio of Martin Deady, Davin O’Neill and Conor Meade were pivotal to most of Ramblers attacks.

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Garvan Broughall breaks away from Roy Kenny and Davin O’Neill to start an attack form midfield

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Athlone Find Fourth Dimension

Friday 3rd May 2013. Airtricity League Division 1.
Athlone Town 4-0 Wexford Youths.

Athlone Town recorded not only their biggest win of the season, but also their biggest home win since moving into Athlone Town Stadium in 2007, as they sent Wexford Youths packing back to the South East on a 4-0 scoreline.

With early chances falling to Ian Sweeney and Philly Gorman, Athlone eventually took the lead inside the opening 20 minutes when a looping cross from Roddy Collins Jnr caught the Wexford defence off guard, and Gorman was in prime place to head home from close range.

With Wexford having very little of the play, Athlone almost doubled their advantage just after the half hour mark when Garbhan Coughlan saw his powerful effort rebound off the base of the post as the Wexford players stood rooted to the ground. Five minutes later Coughlan turned provider when he sent a low cross into the box from the left wing for Ian Sweeney to finish neatly past Graham Doyle. Coughlan again came close to beating Doyle, forcing the keeper into an acrobatic save, before eventually getting on the score sheet with a well taken individual goal just before the break.

With an hour gone on the clock, Coughlan created another goal after his cross from the right wing was met by the head of Philly Gorman to make it four.

Although Wexford pressed forward, they failed to trouble Paul Skinner and so Athlone held on to keep a clean sheet and extend their unbeaten run at home this season.

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Barry Clancy gets in a tangle with Brian Nolan

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Philly Gorman heads past Grahan Doyle for his second and Athlones fourth of the night

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