Kilduff makes winning start as Athlone Town women resume league campaign

Dana Scheriff opened the scoring for Athlone Town during her team’s defeat of Sligo Rovers as the women’s national league made a return to action this past weekend.  Photo by Harry Murphy/Sportsfile

Dana Scheriff opened the scoring for Athlone Town during her team’s defeat of Sligo Rovers as the women’s national league made a return to action this past weekend. Photo by Harry Murphy/Sportsfile

ATHLONE TOWN 2 SLIGO ROVERS 0

John Dingle

Athlone Town entertained struggling Sligo Rovers on Saturday evening last as the action resumed in the Women’s Premier Division following the World Cup break.

Both goals were scored in the first half as Dana Scheriff broke the deadlock with 28 minutes played and a second goal arriving just before the break. Sligo kept Athlone at bay in the second half but, aside from a brief spell, rarely threatened to reduce the deficit at any stage.

Without a competitive game since early July, both teams looked short of match practice. Athlone were the dominant team but could not make the breakthrough until close to the half hour mark in what was new manager Ciaran Kilduff’s first home game in charge.

Maddie Gibson had the opening chance when firing over shortly after the kick off with the first corner kick soon following. Another corner followed after 16 minutes but there was little further action thereafter as both teams struggled to settle, Sligo proving dogged opponents.

It took some trickery out on the right wing to finally unhinge the Reds rearguard on 28 minutes. Roisin Molloy showed neat footwork to beat her marker and then get to the end line to deliver a cross into the penalty area. Scheriff also did well to get ahead of her marker and fire to the net from close range. It was a crucial breakthrough but was not built upon until later in the half.

Having created the opening for the first goal, Molloy then tried her luck with a shot from the right which cleared the bar. The lead was finally doubled after 43 minutes from a corner kick. Gibson sent in the delivery and, although Chloe Singleton’s close range attempt appeared to be blocked on the line, a goal was signalled.

Surprisingly, there were no further scores when play resumed in spite of Athlone again dominating proceedings. There was an early chance for the Town to make it three nil when Kellie Brennan sent in a cross from the right but Gibson could only fire her shot straight at the keeper.

Another home corner and off target attempts on goal from Gibson and Singleton brought the action in the game up to the hour mark. Gillian Keenan then tried her luck from long range but still Sligo held firm. Rovers finally created some openings of their own as three corners were earned in quick succession, but none posed any danger to the home defence.

Gibson could not add to her single goal tally as two strikes were hit off target. Another home corner on 74 minutes saw a shot from Keenan cleared off the line. New goalkeeper Katie Keane was having an easy outing on her first start between the posts for Athlone and an Emma Doherty header was safely gathered with 10 minutes remaining.

The home team’s last chance came from a corner. Three additional minutes were indicated and Sligo ended the action with two corners in succession during this period, again without posing any goal threat.

 

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