Mixed Easter weekend results as Athlone Town make return to league play-off positions

Aaron Connolly's first half strike proved crucial as Athlone Town claimed their second league win of the season over Treaty United on Monday night.  Photo by Michael P Ryan/Sportsfile

Aaron Connolly's first half strike proved crucial as Athlone Town claimed their second league win of the season over Treaty United on Monday night. Photo by Michael P Ryan/Sportsfile

CORK CITY 1 ATHLONE TOWN 0

John Dingle

Pre-season favourites to lift the First Division title Cork City maintained their unbeaten run with a hard fought victory over mid-table Athlone Town at Turners Cross on Friday night last.

Just one goal in the second half decided the contest as the visitors were denied a stoppage time equaliser by a brilliant save from City keeper Brad Wade.

Cork dominated the opening exchanges but found it hard to break down the Town rear-guard which was well set up to stifle the home threat. It was a largely uneventful first half with goal chances at a premium as both teams cancelled one another out. Athlone lacked penetration in attack but equally Cork lacked that spark of creativity that has lifted them to the top of the table. Athlone’s best chance fell to midfielder Aaron Connolly just before the break but his goal bound shot was well blocked by a sliding tackle from Charlie Lyons.

The winning goal though came from an unlikely source considering the attacking talent that is in the home ranks. It was City’s centre-back Lyons whose header on the end of Jack Doherty’s in-swinging corner on 68 minutes that gave the Leesiders all three points.

Earlier, Town keeper Enda Minogue had to make a smart save at the feet of Cian Murphy as he chased Doherty’s reverse pass into the box after 55 minutes. It was a disappointing goal for Athlone to concede having capably dealt with the City threat up to this point, Athlone undone from another set piece.

The Town kept going however and their efforts fell just short of yielding a share of the spoils, the visitors denied a point in the fifth minute of time added on. Athlone piled forward in search of a last gasp equaliser and came within a fingertip of getting a precious point when Dan McKenna’s deflected volley was tipped over the bar by the ever alert Wade in the home goal.

Triumph over Treaty

Athlone were quickly back in home action against another Munster outfit and it was a better outcome as Treaty United were beaten by a single goal on Monday evening in Lissywollen.

It was the Town's first win since the opening day of the season and moves the home team back into the play-off positions. What proved to be the winner came with just 18 minutes played. It was route one football that yielded a dividend as a long ball forward picked out Connolly who found the back of the net with a crisp strike from the right.

Yoyo Mahdy had a couple of chances to level matters but Jamal Ibrahim should have doubled the lead on the stroke of half time. The Town striker blasted over with the goal seemingly at his mercy. Athlone soaked up a lot of Treaty pressure when play resumed but also had further chances to seal victory.

Connolly fired off the goalkeeper's legs with a quarter of an hour remaining while substitute Ruben Ferreira’s spectacular long range attempt late on went narrowly wide.

 

Page generated in 0.0421 seconds.