Cabinteely FC 3 Athlone Town 2
Athlone Town’s bad run continued as they slumped to a fourth straight league defeat on Friday night. Cabinteely FC were the hosts in Stradbrook and edged out Terry Butler’s men by the odd goal in five.
Athlone lead at half time through Shane Dunne but two goals in a four minute spell after the break had the home team in front. Kealan Dillon looked to have salvaged a point when equalising after 70 minutes, but Cabinteely struck for the winner late on.
Garmondeh Ta-Uway came in for his first appearance between the posts for Athlone and was quickly into action. The goalkeeper did well to parry a Conor Keeley shot following a free kick. Keith Dalton earlier had the first chance of the match but fired off target. Athlone struggled to create an impression and had just two corner kicks to show for their early efforts, the first taken by Dean Casey had seen Kaleem Simon fire over the crossbar.
A poor playing surface deterred both teams from playing neat football. The ball was often kicked up in the air as players adopted a safety first tactic. Keeley had another shot blocked while an overhead kick from Marty Waters was collected by the keeper. The scoring should have been opened after 32 minutes but Cabinteely top scorer Robert Manley headed wide. Having survived, Athlone surprised the hosts by taking the lead after 40 minutes, Dunne firing a right wing cross to the roof of the net past the keeper’s right.
When play resumed, Cabinteely were quickly in pursuit of an equaliser. Four corners were earned in the opening seven minutes of the second half. Dillon had the first chance for the visitors but fired over.
Cabinteely were rewarded just after the hour mark when Manley levelled matters. A cross from the left was not cleared allowing Manley to shoot to the net. The hosts then took the lead with their second goal in four minutes. Following a throw in, Dalton took advantage of slack marking to find the target.
Athlone gradually got back into contention thereafter as the Cabinteely threat diminished. A quarter of an hour’s dominance yielded an equaliser. Earlier, Dean Williams had a great chance to score but was denied by Stephen McGuinness. Dillon had better fortune with his effort soon after. The midfielder’s strike from the left hit the post and bounced back over the goal line.
Athlone forced a number of corner kicks but were unable to make their dominance count and got hit with a sucker punch after 85 minutes. A rare home chance saw a free kick floated into the penalty area. Manley was on hand to finish off the move with his second goal of the game. Lloyd Buckley had a chance in stoppage time to rescue a point but saw his shot from the right cleared off the goal line by Jack Watson.