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Rover And Out As Sligo Take The Points

March 17, 2014

Saturday 8th March 2014. SSE Airtricity League Premier Division. The Showgrounds.
Sligo Rovers 2-1 Athlone Town

On a wet Saturday evening, Athlone Town traveled to The Showgrounds to begin life in the Premier Division with a difficult game against Sligo Rovers.

With a small squad to operate with, Athlone had to plan without Derek Prendergast due to suspension, while they could only manage to fill 5 of the 7 allowed places on the substitutes list.

As expected, Sligo had the lions share of possession early on and attacked from the start with Danny Ledwith striking the post with a shot inside the opening 5 minutes, before Aaron Greene had Paul Skinner scampering across his goal to cover his shot from distance.

After taking the opening 15 minutes to settle, Athlone tried to make inroads on goals, however playing Philly Gorman as a lone front man left last seasons top scorer chasing down everything with little support.

As the half progressed, Ledwith and Kaelan Spillane both had efforts sail just the wrong side of the woodwork, while Gary Rogers in the Sligo goal was left untroubled for the majority of the half.

In the second half, Paul Skinner showed exactly why he was named in last years Team of the Season, with a string of fine saves in quick succession from Davi Cawley and Eric Odhiambo before again denying Danny Ledwith.

With 53 minutes played, Athlone finally got the rub of the green when a handball inside the area left referee Rob Rogers no option but to award a penalty to the visitors. Up stepped Gorman to cooly fire the ball low and hard just beyond the outstretched left arm of Gary Rogers.

The lead lasted just 10 minutes though when wave after wave of attack finally found a chink in Athlones armor and John Russell nipped in to head home at the back post after David Cawley’s cross from the right wing caught the town defence ball watching.

With Sligo throwing the proverbial kitchen sink at Athlone, it looked like the Midlanders would leave the North West with a hard fought draw; but fortune favors the brave and with 2 minutes left on the clock, substitute Even McMillan latched on to John Russell’s low cross into the box to fire past Skinner from close range.

Photos From Sligo Rovers 2-1 Athlone Town

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