WEXFORD FC 4 | ATHLONE TOWN 4
A late show from Athlone Town saw Adrian Carberry’s charges rescue a point against bottom club Wexford FC at Ferrycarrig Park last Friday night.
The hosts were two goals up on three different occasions but were hanging on at the end for a share of the spoils, two goals in the final five minutes from the Town completing an unlikely comeback in an eight goal thriller.
The visitors were on top early on and should have been in front inside the first 15 minutes. The first corner kick was earned and Shane Barnes then had a good chance on his playing return but was off target. Kurtis Byrne had a further chance and when Barnes was once more off target, it allowed Wexford to settle.
The scoring was opened on the half hour mark. Jack Moylan’s effort came back off the upright and Kyle Robinson was on hand to score from six yards range. It was a shock for Athlone as Wexford headed off for the break in front.
The second half was a goal fest with seven scores. The lead was doubled after three minutes from the penalty spot. Moylan was fouled and Jack Doherty made no mistake with the resulting spot kick.
David Brookes and new signing Gary Comerford were brought on with the former keeping Athlone in contention when clearing a Doherty shot off the line. The Town were handed a life line on 63 minutes as Derek Daly’s cross was fired home by Barnes.
Poor defending led to a third home goal after 74 minutes. The danger was not cleared and Robinson scrambled the loose ball into the net.
Athlone again reduced the deficit two minutes later when Dylan Hand’s speculative attempt crept into the corner of the net., but any hope of a comeback looked to have ended after 79 minutes. Conor Crowley sent in a cross from the left enabling Robinson completed his hat trick.
The home team looked to be on course for just their second win of the season but were undone by an amazing comeback. Wexford tried to hold onto their lead as they took off top players Doherty and Moylan with a quarter of an hour left to play. Wexford massed tightly in defence as Athlone kept pressing.
The visitors reduced the arrears to the minimum with just three minutes remaining but had the hosts done enough? Barnes grabbed his second of the night when he headed home a Brookes cross from the left.
It looked like Jimmy Corcoran had secured full points for the home team when he parried a Daly shot but was picking the ball out of the net in the final minute, Athlone rewarded for their persistence when Adam Wixted forced the ball home at the far post following a right-wing cross.
Having got back on level terms for the first time, Athlone were now in pursuit of all three points in the four additional minutes. Two corners were earned but a brave comeback fell just short of yielding a sensational winner.