Athlone record first season clean sheet with solid win

Athlone Town bounced back from being hit for six in Turners Cross to record a first win over Treaty United and a first clean sheet of the season.

Top scorer Thomas Oluwa opened the scoring just before half time last Friday night with Adam Lennon doubling the lead on the hour mark. Treaty did not seriously threaten the home rear-guard throughout as new goalkeeper Enda Minogue made a satisfactory debut between the Town posts.

Having beaten league leaders Cork City a week earlier, a game against the bottom club looked a nice treat for the visitors. However, Athlone had not read the script and were full value for only their third win of the campaign.

Valerii Dolia had the first chance for the hosts when his cross from the left was gathered by Jack Brady. A counter attack after 13 minutes could have led to the opening score, but Gary Armstrong’s shot was weak and easily saved. Oluwa had a further chance with Lennon then having a shot saved.

Former Athlone player Success Edogun had the opportunity to punish his old club, but drilled his shot off the keeper. Lennon had a further shot saved while a first home corner was earned after 29 minutes before Patrick Hickey then sent a long range effort wide.

The deadlock was broken after 39 minutes. Oisin Duffy won possession in midfield to slip the ball into Oluwa who found the net with a low finish. Oluwa had a chance moments later to double the lead, but fired off the keeper for a corner. Sean Guerins headed wide for Treaty from a corner in added time.

Edogun had the first chance when play resumed, but found the side netting from a right wing cross. Athlone’s first opportunity after 53 minutes saw Oluwa race clear following a counter attack but the finish from the top scorer flew over. A free kick on the edge of the penalty area gave Marc Ludden a decent crack at grabbing the equaliser, but the defensive wall did its job to block the strike.

Athlone doubled the lead on 60 minutes when Oluwa was again involved, sending in a cross from the left which was bundled home from close range by Lennon. Athlone were in command, but still had another 30 minutes to hold out and United responded by forcing two corners in quick succession.

Town substitute Daniel Dobbin had a shot saved, while Enda Curran, also into the action for Treaty, saw a long-range attempt saved by Minogue. Dobbin had a further chance when firing wide. The visitor’s best chance of reducing the deficit came after 84 minutes. A quickly taken corner kick fell to Curran who somehow headed wide at the far post from close range.

It was the last time the Town defence was under threat as Athlone held firm to celebrate a rare win and an even rarer clean sheet which edges them closer to Cobh at the bottom of the table.

 

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