Impressive league form continues as Athlone Town complete their Lissywollen season with merited victory

ATHLONE TOWN 2 WEXFORD YOUTHS 1

Dana Scheriff opened the scoring for Athlone Town during the team’s 2-1 league win over Wexford Youths in Lissywollen on Saturday night.  Photo by Tyler Miller/Sportsfile

Dana Scheriff opened the scoring for Athlone Town during the team’s 2-1 league win over Wexford Youths in Lissywollen on Saturday night. Photo by Tyler Miller/Sportsfile

Athlone Town women’s team concluded their 2023 home league campaign with a narrow victory over Wexford Youths last Saturday evening.

Going into the game, Athlone were in fifth position and targeting a top four finish but also had to be wary of Wexford who were a place further back. The visitors were three points behind the Town and knew that a win on their travels would draw them level on points.

Wexford enjoyed a good start but Ciaran Kilduff’s charges were soon into their stride. Greater accuracy in front of the target was needed though as Muireann Devaney, Lauren Karabin and Dana Scheriff were all wide with attempts on goal.

The deadlock was finally broken midway through the half when the ball was played in from the right and Scheriff fired a low shot past the goalkeeper’s right from inside the penalty area. Mary Philips, making her senior debut, then fired over while Wexford forced the first corner kick of the game just before the half hour mark. Athlone had few chances to add to their lead and Devaney was again off target from the last action of the half.

The first chance following the resumption of play fell to Scheriff but her shot went just wide. The lead was doubled after 53 minutes when Isabel Ryan delivered a low cross from the end line and Gillian Keenan came in to connect crisply and find the net. It was looking comfortable for the home team at this stage and they had further opportunities to add to their tally. Scheriff drilled a free kick off the bar and was then denied by the Youth’s keeper. The Town top scorer is in pursuit of the ‘Golden Boot’ award and was unlucky not to have scored more.

Athlone substitute Roisin Molloy had an effort cleared off the goal line but the home team were rocked midway through the half. Wexford had been second best to date but were handed a lifeline back into contention. A corner kick delivery was not dealt with by the home defence and Nicola Sinnott headed home from close range.

Athlone recovered their composure and had a couple of chances late on to restore their two-goal advantage. Both Molloy and fellow sub Maddie Gibson fired wide while the Wexford keeper Nicole Nix then pulled off a good save to deny Scheriff after Molloy had created the opening. Molloy had been proving lively following her introduction and had the final opportunity to seal victory two minutes from full time. However, her shot was blocked by the keeper as Athlone hung on to win by the narrowest of margins.

With Galway gaining a surprise success against champions Peamount United, Athlone still remain a point behind their western rivals in pursuit of fourth place. The Town complete their domestic programme with an away game against second placed Shamrock Rovers. The last league outing will take place at the Tallaght Stadium which will be ideal preparation for the cup final to follow against Shelbourne.

 

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