Monday night misfortune for Athlone Town as Waterford FC claim eighth successive victory

SSE AIRTRICITY LEAGUE FIRST DIVISION: WATERFORD FC 5

Athlone Town succumbed to a strong Waterford FC in Lissywollen on Monday night, the Munster team’s victory their eight in succession.

The visitors had taken an early lead but the Town soon levelled matters. Two goals late in the first half had the Blues back in control and although Athlone scored again in the second half, Roland Idowa sealed victory on the hour mark.

A slow start to the game changed when Waterford hit the woodwork after eight minutes. Junior’s shot from the left edge of the penalty area came back off the angle of post and upright. The reprieve was brief for Athlone as the visitors hit the front a minute later. Former Town player Tunmise Sobowale attacked down the right and his cross to the edge of the six yard box was met by Louis Britton who shot to the net over the keeper.

The lead was brief though as the hosts were on level terms on the quarter hour mark. Thomas Oluwa was fouled by Brian Murphy as he looked to connect with a right wing cross from Oisin Duffy and Town captain Shane Barnes stepped up and sent the keeper the wrong way with the resulting spot kick.

Yassine En-Neyah and Oluwa were then denied at either end. Murphy recovered from his earlier error to push over Oluwa’s effort for the first home corner kick. The woodwork again frustrated the Blues on the half hour mark. Junior shot off the keeper’s legs and En Neyah then fired the rebound against the bar.

The visitors took control in the closing stages of the half with a two goal blitz in a five minute spell up to the break. The lead was regained on 40 minutes when a swift counter attack ended with Idowa finding the net from just inside the box. On the stroke of half time, the lead was stretched as Phoenix Patterson’s strike from the left was adjudged to have crossed the goal line after crashing down off the bar. It completed a luckless opening half for the hosts.

The second half was just three minutes old when Patterson grabbed his second goal, pouncing on the keeper’s failure to safely gather a Shane Griffin shot. It looked like the floodgates might open for the struggling home team but they regained their composure to reduce the deficit after 54 minutes when a poor clearance from Murphy only went as far as Gary Armstrong who gratefully returned the ball to the net.

The scoring ended though on the hour mark when Idowa netted from close range after the Town defence failed to clear a right wing cross. Midway through the half, Murphy again redeemed himself when pushing over a goal bound strike from Aaron Connolly.

A raft of substitutions took the sting out of the contest as the goal fest unexpectedly ended with half an hour to play. Athlone tightened up to avoid any further damage as Waterford edge closer to second placed Galway United on the league table.

 

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