Athlone Town 2
Cobh Ramblers 1
Athlone Town and manager Adrian Carberry finally got a first league win in 2020 when Cobh Ramblers were beaten last Friday night.
The home team had to come from behind after Ramblers had opened the scoring just after the hour mark, Jack Reynolds levelled with his first senior goal and a late penalty kick from Ronan Manning had the Town celebrating.
There were just a handful of chances in the opening half as neither team had their scoring boots on. From an early David Brookes free kick, Taner Dogan headed straight at the goalkeeper. Manning then volleyed wide while Cobh’s first chance saw Greg Henry denied by Aaron Myles.
Adam Lennon’s shot was blocked behind for the first corner kick of the game but Athlone’s best chance of scoring came after 18 minutes of play. A cross from the left was flicked on by Dean George but Sean Barron did well to tip the ball over.
Cobh’s best chance came on the stroke of half time when Athlone lost possession but Nathan Coleman failed to take advantage, shooting across the goalmouth and wide of the far post.
First chance when play resumed fell to George but he volleyed over, but the deadlock was finally broken on 61 minutes. The needless concession of a corner was punished when Dave Hurley’s delivery was headed home by Ben O’Riordan.
The reaction from Athlone was positive with the equaliser coming just two minutes later. A cross from the left had the Cobh defence under pressure and Reynolds was on hand to send the ball over the keeper from close range.
The visitors had an early opportunity to retake the lead but Conor Drinans shot was parried by Myles. Manning and George had further chances for the hosts but the next chance saw Cobh denied by the woodwork as substitute Pierce Phillips fired against the post and sent the rebound wide.
Both teams continued in search of a winner when a share of the spoils looked the more likely outcome. Shots from Dogan, Manning and George were off target.
A foul on the latter though by Charlie Lyons inside the box afforded Athlone the opportunity to hit the front. Manning had been successful a week earlier from the spot and again made no mistake as he sent the keeper the wrong way with the resulting penalty.
Athlone had chances to seal victory but Cobh had the last chance to draw level. Dogan was denied by the keeper while George fired wide.
Ramblers almost had the last hurrah but a free kick in a dangerous position on the edge of the penalty area was not taken advantage of. The final whistle soon sounded leaving Athlone to celebrate a first league win in 2020.
South East success
The Town were looking to keep the run going when visiting Wexford FC on Monday night. Only goal difference had separated the teams at the foot of the table but another Reynolds goal in the second half sealed the win to cap a fine weekend for Carberry’s charges.