Athlone Town slump to yet another home defeat

Athlone Towns long run without a win continued when Cabinteely FC piled further misery on Terry Butlers men on Friday night last.

The teams were level at half time after Ciaran Grogan’s first goal for the club cancelled out Kieran Water’s opening score for the Dublin visitors. Athlone were on course for a share of the spoils but poor defending again proved costly as Cabinteely struck twice during the second half.

With five changes to the team beaten in Galway, Athlone started brightly and could have been ahead within three minutes of the kick off. Nika Kalandarishvili found himself with only the goalkeeper to beat but Stephen McGuinness pulled off a fantastic save to push the ball behind.

Cabinteely recovered though and should have been in front by the quarter hour mark. Paul Fox somehow put his shot over the bar and followed up with an effort which Michael Fogarty saved. Karl Byrne was also off target from close range with Waters then heading a corner against the upright.

Another miss from Byrne followed but Cabinteely finally made the breakthrough with 22 minutes played. Failings in defence have proved costly and once more Athlone were punished for not clearing the danger. Waters took advantage to sweep the ball home past the helpless keeper.

Jack Watson had two further chances to increase the visitors lead, but Athlone came more into contention as the half progressed. Steve Grogan had a free kick saved with namesake Ciaran then heading wide from a Brian Cabraley free kick. The Town centre half did find his range with the equalising score on 39 minutes. A corner kick was powerfully headed to the net to level matters. The home team could have went in for half time in front but George Mukete sent a good chance over the bar.

Waters had the first chance on the resumption of play, but Athlone responded with two corner kicks before the hour mark. Midway through the half, Tzee Mustapha had a further home chance but all the good work was undone when slack defending gifted Cabinteely a second goal. Substitute Joe Doyle celebrated his introduction to score after 68 minutes. Fogarty advanced to the edge of his six yard box but Doyle slipped the ball into the far corner of the net.

Cabinteely have hardly set the First Division alight in 2018 but know how to put away their chances. The stuffing looked to have been knocked out of the home side who now accepted their fate. Two corners followed for the visitors with Athlone’s only reply also coming from a corner as Mukete was denied by McGuinness.

Cabinteely had little difficulty in collecting full points and wrapped up the scoring with three minutes left. It was a night to forget for Baba Issaka as he scored at the wrong end with a misplaced clearance. Waters initial effort hit the post and, seemingly under little pressure, the Town defender lifted the ball into the net for a spectacular own goal.

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