Terry Butler has been reappointed as Athlone Town manager but will have to wait until next season for his first win in charge as the Town ended the 2018 season in disappointing fashion when they were beaten by Wexford FC at Ferrycarrig Park last Friday night.
The visitors had the better of the exchanges in a bottom of the table clash but still returned home empty handed. Wexford struck first against the run of play following a free kick while a goalkeeping howler just before the break allowed the hosts to double their advantage. In between, George Mukete summed up a dreadful season when he headed over an open goal from close range.
Athlone suffered a humiliating seven nil defeat on their last visit but should have gained revenge on their return. Butler’s men earned eight corner kicks on the night with the first coming in the second minute. Ollie Hamzat, Mukete and Josh Hogan all had chances to open the scoring but it was the hosts that struck first after 22 minutes.
A free kick was conceded which Adham Masood floated into the danger zone from the right. Aaron Dobbs got a touch to bundle the ball home from close range. Athlone rallied with Aaron Brilly firing into the side netting and Hogan then shooting over.
Athlone should have levelled matters ten minutes from half time. Brilly's cross from the right picked out Hamzat at the back post. Corey Chambers advanced and was fortunate to see the ball crash off the crossbar. Mukete then seemed set to find the net but from six yards range somehow headed over with the goal at his mercy. It was a bad miss as poor finishing again dogged Athlone on the night.
Nika Kalandarishvili then headed wide from a corner but a howler from Mick Fogarty allowed Wexford to double their lad just before the half time break. Dean Walsh charged down a back pass to the Town keeper and ran in to find the net from the right of the six yard box.
Fogarty did not return for the second half with Garmondeh Ta-Uway getting his chance between the posts. It was a relatively quiet debut for the keeper as Athlone continued to dominate. The home team were confined to a handful of chances but Athlone failed to take advantage of all the possession they enjoyed.
Hamzat had the first chance to reduce the deficit but was denied by the keeper at his near post. A later shot was again blocked. Substitute Rory McCullough was no more successful than Mukete after replacing the striker, as he failed to finish off a right wing cross from Brilly.
Three further corners were earned by Athlone while a free kick in the final minute offered hope of a late consolation. Substitute Kyle Hogan took aim from in front of the target but could only drill his strike off the defensive wall. The final whistle drew the game and a forgettable season for Athlone to a conclusion.