Athlone Town succumb to Bray Wanderers as dismal away day league performances continue


Athlone Town succumbed to their third defeat of the season to Bray Wanderers in the Carlisle Grounds on Friday night last.

The home team enjoyed a two goal half time lead and although Athlone had a number of chances to level matters, Pat Devlin’s men held firm.

Athlone had started brightly and enjoyed the better of the exchanges in the early stages. A first corner kick was earned with Adam Lennon then having an inviting cross from the right caught by the Bray goalkeeper. Two further corners followed for the Town while Ben Feeney had the first home chance on the quarter hour mark when his shot was saved by Enda Minogue.

A lack of communication at the back midway through the half almost allowed Feeney in to score, Minogue coming to the rescue to block the shot. Bray struck for the opening score after 25 minutes. more slack defending allowing Feeney in to shoot across the keeper to the net. Athlone responded through Thomas Oluwa who had a chance while another corner was earned. Wanderers, however, doubled their advantage after 39 minutes. Feeney was again on target as he fired home from close range following a cross from the right.

Athlone were still positive when play resumed as they were on top up to the hour mark. Patrick Hickey had the first chance when his third minute shot from the right was tipped over by the keeper. Gary Armstrong then had a shot saved while another corner kept up the away pressure.

Athlone should have reduced the deficit on 58 minutes, but Oluwa somehow scooped the ball wide from close range after Armstrong had provided the pass - it was one that should have been put away.

Bray had few opportunities to add to their goal tally but earned two more corners and Feeney came close to claiming his hat trick but was denied by Minogue. Athlone had one more decent opportunity to make the closing stages interesting when Valerii Dolia found himself with only the keeper to beat after 74 minutes but Stephen McGuinness stood up to block the shot. Two good chances had now failed to be put away.

Bray clung on in spite of the Athlone pressure being exerted. Another corner was earned by the Town but no danger followed. Bray wound down the closing stages with little difficulty. Athlone did throw caution to the wind, going with just three at the back, but there was no way through the Bray rear-guard.

A corner after 77 minutes was the last time the Town had a chance to reduce the deficit during regulation time. Four additional minutes were indicated with two more half chances falling at either end. Former Athlone player Kurtis Byrne came on as a late substitute for the hosts and fired a free kick over the bar in his first taste of the action. Last chance of the game fell to Lennon but he too was off target with his attempt to end a disappointing night for the visitors.


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