Athlone Town deserved to collect their third point of the season when they played out a one all draw with promotion seeking Cabinteely FC at Stradbrook last Friday night.
Adrian Carberry’s men opened the scoring from the penalty spot but Cabinteely levelled matters before the break. Athlone had the better chances during the second half but eventually had to settle for a draw.
Ronan Manning fired wide from Athlone’s first chance with a Jack Reynold’s cross from the left being collected by the keeper before a visiting player could pounce.
Athlone forced their first corner after 16 minutes. A shot from the returning Lee Duffy was blocked by the Cabo keeper at his near post with the loose ball then being put behind.
Athlone took the lead after 26 minutes. Duffy raced onto a Manning pass but was taken down as he tried to round the keeper. The provider stepped up, firing the spot kick low to the net past the keeper’s right.
The lead was short-lived as Cabinteely soon levelled matters. Cabo captain, Paul Fox, delivered a free kick into the box from the left which was met by the head of Conor Keeley. Aaron Myles could only parry the ball and Christian Lotefa then forced the ball home from close range.
Athlone recovered and could easily have headed off for the half time break with a lead. Corey Chambers pushed behind a dangerous cross while Reynolds had a shot blocked in the last action of the half.
Athlone again had the better chances during the second half but could not make the vital breakthrough. Duffy drilled a free kick wide with Adam Lennon then having a shot blocked.
Taner Dogan had a further chance to restore the lead but shot over from a good position. A treble substitution shook up the home team a little as three corners were then earned in quick succession.
Athlone quickly regrouped and got back to attacking ways. A quick throw in after 74 minutes almost caught out Cabinteely and ended when Manning shot across the penalty area and wide.
As full time approached, the destiny of the points was still in doubt. Athlone came nearest to claiming all three in the closing stages.
Duffy fired over and then set up the chance for what would surely have been the winning score. A low cross from the left fell to John Morgan. The Town substitute looked set to score from close range but his shot was blocked.
In stoppage time, Manning had a free kick saved while Myles ensured the points would be shared after the last action of the half. Fox had the final chance but his header was saved by the Town keeper.
It ended a run of three defeats for Pat Devlin’s men while Athlone moved a little closer to Wexford at the foot of the table. It was also the first time this season that the Athlone defence had not conceded two or more goals in a game.