Seagulls swoop in Lissywollen as Athlone Town’s season of league results woe continues


Following a scoreless opening half last Friday night between Athlone Town and fellow strugglers Bray Wanderers, all three goals came in the first quarter of an hour when play resumed - the visitors taking the lead early on but Athlone soon levelling matters, former Town player Kurtis Byrne sealed the away victory with the winner just before the hour mark.

Daniel Dobbin was wide from the first Town chance while Bray replied with the first corner kick of the game. Adam Lennon has returned from UCD and was also off target as a first home corner again kept Bray under pressure. Byrne fired wide for Bray on 10 minutes but Athlone continued to dominate up to the 30 minute mark. Two more corners were earned while Glen McAuley had two shots blocked in quick succession.

The number ten then drilled a free kick over but Athlone should have hit the front after 34 minutes, Gary Armstrong setting up Thomas Oluwa who raced clear but goalkeeper Stephen McGuinness came out to block the shot with his legs.

Bray regrouped and Darragh Lynch delivered a cross from the right which went wide. Athlone continued to attack Lennon cutting in from the right but sent his shot into the side netting. McAuley had appeals for a penalty kick turned down and, as play continued, Armstrong followed up by firing a shot from the left off the bar. Action ended in the half with corners at either end.

The second half was not long underway when Bray went in front with just three minutes played as Byrne sent in a ball from the left which Ben Feeney headed home from close range.

The lead was short-lived though as Athlone soon equalised. McAuley delivered a free kick from the left and, after McGuinness had blocked the ball, Aaron McBride was on hand to tap home.

The away lead was soon restored as Bray struck again after 59 minutes when Callum Thompson was allowed to run through midfield to set up Byrne who made no mistake with his finish. It ended the scoring in the game with Bray now content to sit on their lead.

Athlone offered little in response, Lynch almost increasing the lead after 64 minutes but he fired wide. Thompson also had a further chance for the visitors midway through the half. Athlone tried hard to again level matters but their chance had gone. McAuley fired a shot at the keeper while Lennon had a cross from the right saved.

The last real chance of an equaliser fell to McAuley after 78 minutes. Aaron Connolly delivered a cross to the far post but McAuley could only head the ball over the bar. Four additional minutes were indicated and a free kick in the last minute allowed the home team a final opportunity to draw level. Youri Habing had come on in the second half but the free kick delivery from the substitute cleared the bar.

It was only Bray’s second win in nineteen games, both coming against Athlone.


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