End of season stalemate as Athlone Town concede late

ATHLONE TOWN 2

GALWAY UNITED 2

John Dingle

Galway United struck in stoppage time to deny Athlone Town an end of season win at home last Saturday night.

While there was little at stake, Athlone could easily have been two goals to the good early on but were denied by the visiting goalkeeper Cian Mulryan, making his senior debut for United. Mulryan made his first good save after 12 minutes to deny Nika Kalandarishvili. His shot was blocked by the keeper’s legs with the ball then booted behind.

Two minutes later and the United keeper was again in action. Kalandarishvili was crowded out but the ball broke to Adam Lennon who seized on the chance to fire goalwards. Mulryan did well to block the close range strike.

Galway opened the scoring after 15 minutes. Aaron Myles raced out to clear on the edge of the box but only blasted the ball against Conor Melody who slotted home. Athlone had a quick chance to equalise but Kalandarishvili was again denied by Mulryan who blocked the shot at his near post.

A further corner followed for Athlone after 19 minutes. Midway through the half, Josh Keane Quinlivan had a good chance to double the lead but his goalbound effort was blocked by Myles. The next three chances were all off target as Galway carried their slender advantage into the half time break.

First action when play resumed saw Athlone get back on level terms. Ten minutes after the restart, Jamie Hamilton on the left crossed to Kalandarishvili who set up Dillon for a strike on goal. The volley was perfectly executed with Mulryan unable to prevent the ball from crossing the line.

A corner was followed by Lennon having a shot palmed away. Kalandarishvili then fired wide. Galway though remained a danger and had a good chance to restore their lead after 66 minutes. Melody sent in a cross from the right but Conor Barry shot against the keeper.

Another good chance followed after 77 minutes. Melody got around Myles but his inviting ball back across the goalmouth from the right was cleared to safety by Aaron Brilly. Athlone also had a chance to hit the front with 10 minutes remaining but Dillon’s strike crashed off the upright with the keeper beaten.

A period of dominance followed for the home team as another corner was followed by Hamilton’s low cross from the left being gathered by the keeper. The busy Kalandarishvili had another shot blocked but the pressure eventually paid off on 89 minutes.

Man of the match Dillon drifted in from the right and coolly sent a low shot to the net to complete what was a fine individual effort. Four additional minutes were indicated as the hosts looked to hold out. A minute into the four saw Galway pounce for the equaliser. The ball was worked down the left and the cross into the danger zone picked out Killian Brouder who was unmarked. The defender finished well as he side footed the ball high into the home net.

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