Titanic battle ends in victory for Cobh

Friday the 13th proved unlucky for Athlone Town as they slumped to yet another defeat.

Cobh Ramblers were the visitors on this occasion, and it was easy for Stephen Henderson’s men to record only their second league win of the season.

An early goal provided the impetus for the visitors, with a second following just before half-time. An Athlone goal following the resumption of play was quickly cancelled out by a third Cobh score. The home side were then reduced to 10 men as Ramblers sealed the victory late on from the penalty spot.

An early confidence booster was needed and it was the visitors who took the lead with less than five minutes played. Kevin Taylor and David Hurley were involved in the build-up, and when the ball was squared to Andrew Wall he finished low in to the net with ease.

A couple of corner kicks on the quarter hour mark was the response from Athlone, but they came to nothing. Brian Cabraley then picked up his first yellow card, which would prove costly for the midfielder later in the game.

Cobh’s lead should have been doubled soon after, but Wall failed to take advantage of a good chance, firing his shot straight at Michael Fogarty.

A second Cobh goal arrived just before the half time break. Charlie Fleming delivered a great cross into the penalty area and Jaze Kabia was on hand at the far post to fire across the keeper and into the net.

Another corner for The Town in the last action of the first half came to nothing, and left Cobh sitting pretty with a two goal lead heading for the break.

The introduction of Aaron Williams seemed to inspire Athlone as the deficit was reduced to the minimum close to the hour mark. Ollie Hamzat on the right created the opening for George Mukete, who fired his shot past Paul Hunt.

The home cheers quickly faded when Cobh restored their two goal advantage within a minute. Fogarty failed to deal with Fleming’s cross into the penalty area, allowing Kabia to nod home the ball.

There was a further setback for Aaron Callaghan’s team after 64 minutes when they were reduced to 10 men. Cabraley picked up a second booking to end his interest in proceedings. An automatic one match ban follows for the midfielder.

Another corner to Athlone with a quarter of an hour remaining was again wasted. Substitute Williams had a chance on 82 minutes, but the Cobh victory was sealed moments later. David Hurley was taken down inside the box by Ian Fletcher and the referee pointed to the penalty spot. Darren Murphy stepped up and made no mistake, with a well dispatched strike leaving three goals between the teams at the final whistle.

Next up for Athlone is a trip to Ferrycarrig Park, where they take on fellow strugglers Wexford FC in an early season basement battle.

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