ATHLONE TOWN 1 TREATY UNITED 4
League new boys, Treaty United, put a major dent in the play-off prospects of Athlone Town in Lissywollen on Friday night last.
The hosts were looking to bounce back after making an early cup exit but now slip further behind the top five on the League table. A late goal from Kurtis Byrne for the hosts was mere consolation as United had built on a slender half time lead to score three more goals after the break.
Athlone were disappointing in the opening half and the visitors had the first chance after just two minutes play. Stephen Christopher’s shot from the left was parried by Micheal Schlingermann with Jack Lynch then firing wide.
The Town’s first chance fell to Derek Daly after 11 minutes but his shot was saved by Tadhg Ryan. Kieran Hanlon then drilled a shot off the keeper to earn the first corner kick of the game for Treaty. Sean McSweeney was next to be denied by Schlingermann but the inevitable lead goal came after 36 minutes when Edward McCarthy, in spite of being outnumbered, fired a low shot to the net.
Clyde O’Connell then had a chance to double the lead but headed wide from a free kick. Athlone’s best chance came just before the break, Aidan Friel playing the ball into Glen McAuley who scooped his effort over the bar.
Treaty forced an early corner when play resumed but soon found themselves defending as Athlone went in search of an equaliser. Conor Barry had a shot saved while Jack Reynolds was denied by a brilliant save from Ryan. Athlone were on top in the first 15 minutes as Daly fired wide from long range and Kurtis Byrne also failing to hit the target from close range when firing over instead.
Treaty remained dangerous on the counter attack with McSweeney seeing his header clip the bar. Byrne continued with Athlone’s pursuit of an equaliser when sending a snap shot wide. The game was to turn Treaty’s way midway through the half with a second goal, Lynch scoring with a marvellous volley from the edge of the penalty area.
The victory was then sealed after 79 minutes. Hanlon and Christopher were involved in setting up McSweeney who finished superbly. The Town’s misery was completed with the concession of a fourth goal with six minutes left when Marc Ludden pushed up and was rewarded with a fine finish past the helpless Schlingermann.
Athlone finished the game on the offensive and at least were rewarded with a consolation score. James Doona had a shot blocked following a corner and, in the first additional minute, a home goal was scored, Stephen Meaney setting up Byrne and his crisp shot flew past the keeper’s right.
Ray O’Sullivan might have celebrated his introduction as the final home sub but headed over while a corner ended the action in the game. Treaty’s fairy-tale inaugural season is continuing with a play-off position all but secured. Athlone though are now five points behind UCD and Bray who fill the last two slots.