Early season promise a memory as Athlone Town slump at home

ATHLONE TOWN 0 GALWAY UNITED 4

Athlone Town’s losing streak continued as Galway United made it five straight defeats for the Town at the ATFC Stadium last Friday night. In spite of having most of the possession in the opening half, the hosts still found themselves in arrears at the break. United had the points wrapped up by the hour mark with two further scores. A fourth goal midway through the second half sealed victory for the visitors.

Recent results had left both teams lacking in confidence so the first goal was always going to be crucial. Athlone were on top for most of the opening half but still found themselves a goal down by half time. The main danger in the opening stages came from corner kicks. There were few real goal scoring chances however in a cautious start. A dangerous cross from the left by Kealan Dillon was collected by Kevin Horgan with the keeper again doing well to parry a Shane Stokes shot.

It was somewhat against the run of play when Galway took the lead on 27 minutes. Marc Ludden sent a free kick from just inside the home half into the penalty area. Cian Murphy was on hand to flick the ball to the net past the helpless Aaron Myles. Athlone’s best chance of an equaliser came on the half hour mark when top scorer Dean Williams fired wide, while at the other end, both Vinny Faherty and Conor Melody had chances to increase the lead. Stokes then sent a dipping shot just over as a stoppage time corner kick ended the Athlone threat in the first half.

When play resumed Galway were a different proposition. The early stages of the second half proved disastrous for Athlone. Two more goals were conceded in the opening quarter of an hour of play. The first chance saw Stephen Walsh have a shot saved against his former club but the lead was soon doubled. A cross from the left after 51 minutes was palmed away by Myles, but Conor Melody was on hand at the post to head home.

Athlone’s only response was from a corner. The game was all but over as a contest with Galway making it three just shy of the hour mark. Another left wing cross saw Melody pass to Faherty, the veteran striker duly found the net from close range.

Athlone did eventually get to double figures on the corner count but failed to take advantage from any of the set pieces. Another former Athlone player was next to try his luck as Conor Barry fired wide.

Victory was sealed midway through the half. An Athlone attack broke down allowing Wilson Waweru to counter attack. The striker took on the stretched Town rear-guard and, after rounding the keeper, slotted the ball into the unguarded net. It finished the scoring but Athlone tried hard to manufacture a consolation goal, but a plentiful supply of possession was not rewarded on the score sheet. Dean Casey, Rhys Gorman and Kaleem Simon all had chances but were out of luck.

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