TREATY UNITED 1 ATHLONE TOWN 0
In the first ever competitive meeting between the teams, league new boys Treaty United subjected Athlone Town to a third defeat in a row.
A goal midway through the first half at the Markets Field last Friday proved to be a winning one. Athlone had lots of possession thereafter but were unable to get past a home defence that defended resolutely.
Adrian Carberry’s charges remain in third position but only on goal difference now from the Limerick outfit.
The early signs from Athlone were positive. Stephen Meaney fired a long-range effort wide with Kurtis Byrne also off target. James Doona then had a shot blocked while United’s first chance saw Sean McSweeney fire over.
Athlone had been on top but were shocked when the hosts hit the front after 22 minutes. Team captain Jack Lynch broke through and faced up to Micheal Schlingermann, making no mistake with a shot past the keeper’s left.
Athlone continued to have the better of the exchanges as the half progressed. Byrne’s shot on the turn went wide while Doona’s effort was saved.
Treaty too had chances as Kieran Hanlon’s shot was tipped behind. Meaney had a further opportunity to score but his low shot just cleared the post. The first corner kick of the game fell Athlone’s way after 43 minutes while last chance in stoppage time saw Dylan Hand head over from another corner.
Treaty were on top when play resumed. McSweeney had the first chance when heading over with Clyde O’Connell also off target with a shot. The lead could easily have been doubled just after the hour mark when indecisive defending from Athlone ended with Lynch having a shot blocked behind.
After this Treaty were content to keep most of their players behind the ball and defend. Athlone tried hard and their best chance of grabbing an equaliser came after 76 minutes. Doona put a cross from the left into the danger zone but Shane Barnes was denied by Tadhg Ryan from close range.
Carberry threw caution to the wind for the closing stages leaving just three at the back. Four substitutions were made for the first time this season, but Treaty held firm with a solid defensive performance.
As the game headed into the last five minutes, it was the home team that came closest to again finding the net. Anthony O’Donnell drilled a free kick over the bar while former Town player, Joel Coustrain, was also off target in the last action of the 90 minutes.
There was four additional minutes played but it did not feature a late response from the visitors. The final chance of an equaliser fell to Adam Wixted but he was no more successful than his team mates as his headed effort sailed over the bar.
It was another frustrating night for Athlone on their travels as the losing streak continued. Cobh Ramblers at home next affords an opportunity to halt the slide as the campaign reaches the end of the first series of matches.