The SSE Airtricity League resumed after nearly five months without any action as Athlone Town played two games in four days.
First up was a home defeat against Wexford FC last Friday night but there was a better return on Monday night when a first point of the season was earned against Galway United.
Both games saw the participating teams in search of a first win. Wexford took the lead on 19 minutes after being awarded a penalty kick. Conor Crowley’s good run was halted and Jack Doherty stepped up to take the resulting spot kick which he fired past Town keeper Aaron Myles.
Athlone were quickly back on level terms. A good run down the right from Ronan Manning ended with a great strike which flew past goalkeeper Tom Murphy. Athlone survived after 27 minutes when a cross was deflected onto the post and out for a corner kick. Manning and Adam Lennon had further chances before the break but the half ended level.
Wexford went back in front on the hour mark when Athlone were punished at the back. A counter attack saw Kaleem Simon race clear. Myles advanced to the edge of the box to try to clear but was helpless as the former Athlone player skipped past to slip the ball into an unguarded net.
Athlone pressed for another equaliser and chances fell to Tumedlo Tlou and Lennon. The Wexford win was sealed after 75 minutes. Simon was again on target when getting past his marker to cut inside from the right and curl the ball into the far corner of the net. Manning had a late opportunity to reduce the deficit to the bare minimum but fired into the side netting.
Town garner first league point
There was little time to recover as Adrian Carberry’s team then headed West to Eamonn Deacy Park in a rearranged fixture. There was a better outcome this time as the Town were just minutes away from collecting their first win.
The visitors opened the scoring midway through the first half. Their fifth corner kick taken by Manning fell to Taner Dogan and his header from close range found the net. A howler from Myles gifted Galway the equaliser just before the break. The keeper attempted to shepherd the ball into his penalty area but was robbed by Mikey Place who fired into an unguarded net.
Athlone went back in front just before the hour mark. Substitute Jordan Carr sent in a cross from the left which Dean George fired off the upright. Lennon was on hand to send the rebound to the net.
Athlone looked like they might hold out for the win but substitute Francely Lomboto spared home blushes when slotting home a low cross from close range on 88 minutes.
Both teams then had chances to win late on. Athlone had the final chance in the fourth and final minute of stoppage time. George set up Manning but his shot was pushed away by Kevin Horgan to complete an eventful weekend for Carberry and company.