ATHLONE TOWN 1 GALWAY UNITED 4
Having finally won a game in 2020 when knocking Wexford out of the FAI cup, Athlone Town were looking to record a first league win when entertaining Galway United last Friday night.
John Caulfield took charge of the visitors for his first away game and was celebrating at the end following a comprehensive victory.
Former Town player Enda Curran opened the scoring from the penalty spot after 19 minutes. Ciaran Grogan fouled the United striker who then sent goalkeeper Aaron Myles the wrong way with the resulting spot kick.
Ronan Manning had the first home chance while Adam Lennon blasted over the bar from the right. A key moment arrived when Athlone were reduced to ten men just before the break. Two yellow cards in quick succession for Lee Duffy had the Town done to ten men and facing a tougher task.
Athlone had to play the second half with a man less and it did not take long for Galway to take advantage.
Athlone’s first chance of the half came on the hour mark but Grogan’s header from a free kick was saved. Galway doubled their lead on 64 minutes. Christopher sent in a cross which picked out Mikey Place at the back post whose header found the net.
Taner Dogan had a chance to narrow the deficit but fired wide. The third Galway goal arrived midway through the half. Shane Duggan’s strike was parried by Myles and substitute Vinny Faherty was on hand to tuck away the rebound.
It soon became four nil with 73 minutes played. The referee overruled his assistant to award a goal. Carlton Ubaezuonu on the left sent a ball across the goalmouth which Place forced home. The assistant’s flag went up but the referee allowed the goal to stand.
Athlone grabbed a consolation goal to complete the scoring. David Brookes sent in a free kick which lead to a foul being committed. The finish was the same as the earlier effort with Dogan sending the keeper the wrong way with the spot kick.
Athlone might even have scored again before the finish but substitute Dean George was denied by Kevin Horgan between the posts for the visitors. Galway had finally something to celebrate when the final whistle sounded leaving Athlone now as the only team in the league without a win.
Athlone suffer Wanderers woe
The Town were also in action on Monday night when they travelled to take on Bray Wanderers at the Carlisle Grounds. The hosts had beaten table toppers Cabinteely three days earlier as they looked to extend their unbeaten run.
Lennon put the visitors in front after 20 minutes but Gary Cronin’s men fought back to be ahead at the half time break, Ryan Graydon and Dylan Barnett on target.
Lennon had a chance on the resumption of play to level matters but fired over from the right. Dean George had a further chance but the home win was sealed when Callum Thompson scored his first goal for Bray with 20 minutes remaining.