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Athlone Go Dutch But Longford Go Through!

March 17, 2014

Monday 10th March 2014. EA Sports Cup. Athlone Town Stadium.
Athlone Town 0-1 Longford Town

Wearing a less than traditional kit of Orange and Black, Athlone Town crashed out of the EA Sports Cup at the first hurdle as Longford took the spoils in a lack luster Cup Derby at Athlone Town Stadium.

Despite wearing the Dutch colours, Athlones performance was far from “Total Football” as they took to the field for their second game in three days. With a tough game against Sligo barely behind them and an equally tough encounter with Shamrock Rovers to come, Athlone tried a squad rotation for the visit of Longford Town. Having a small squad, however, meant that the rotation was mostly positional as Kealon Dillon and Sean Byrne moved into midfield roles, with Grahan Rusk playing up front and Jason Marks floating between midfield and forward roles. Alan Byrne dropped back to sit in between the center backs and center midfield while Neil Harney and Barry Clancy came in to the full back positions.

In the first half Athlone made a flurry of attacks, with Kealon Dillon firing over the bar before Graham Rusk squandered a chance from close range. Just before the break, Longford had their first clear cut chance when Kevin O’Connors shot deflected wide of Craig Sextons post.

Athlone started the second half brightly with Dillon coming close to breaking deadlock, but his deft lob bounced just the wrong side of the post as keeper Paul Hunt stood in no mans land.

On the 70th minute, Longford got the rub of the green when Sexton parried a shot from Davy O’Sulivan, and with the Athlone defence caught flat footed, Gary Shaw was on hand to fire home unchallenged. Ten minutes later, James O’Brien came close to equalising but as his long range shot looked destined for the top right corner, Hunt pulled off an acrobatic save to flick the ball just over the bar to ensure Longford progressed to the next round.

Photos From Athlone Town 0-1 Longford Town

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