Play-off aims finally ended as Athlone Town suffer home loss to Wexford FC

ATHLONE TOWN 0 WEXFORD FC 1

Bottom club Wexford FC all but ended Athlone Town's already slim hopes of grabbing a place in the promotion play offs, the visitors claiming only their second away win of the season and, but for goalkeeper Micheal Schlingermann, the margin of victory would have been greater.

Athlone had kept their campaign alive by winning in Bray last time out but were unable to replicate that result when back home at Lissywollen.

Wexford struck for what proved to be the winner with just two minutes played, Jack Moylan, from the edge of the penalty area, firing a volley to the roof of the net.

The home team had two chances to respond. The first from a left wing cross by James Doona saw Oisin Duffy clear the bar with a headed effort while Doona himself was then off target when blasting over Kurtis Byrne's knock on.

It was then Schlingermann's turn to make the first of a number of fine saves. After nine minutes, Moylan had a shot saved by the keeper’s legs at his near post. Duffy and Byrne had further home chances while Glen McAuley saw his shot screw wide. Wexford looked dangerous every time they attacked and midway through the half were again denied by Schlingermann, Kyle Robinson’s effort kept out by the keeper.

Athlone's early frustration built when McAuley's penalty appeals were turned down. Schlingermann again came to the rescue on 33 minutes when he once more denied Moylan. McAuley should then have equalised but somehow his close range header from Duffy’s right wing cross went over the bar. The Town keeper was now all that stood between his team and a heavier defeat, the last action of the half seeing Robinsons shot being blocked to give Athlone a glimmer of hope.

Thomas Considine and Moylan had early second half chances for the visitors while Athlone's first chance came from a corner when Scott Delaney’s shot was saved. Substitute, Shane Barnes, was soon involved as his shot was pushed behind by Jimmy Corcoran at his near post. McAuley then fired wide while Doona had a shot saved. McAuley's frustration continued when he had another attempt saved on 72 minutes, the home comeback fading as the half progressed.

Wexford finished strongly as Considine had a shot saved and substitute Jack Doherty fired over. Athlone ran out of ideas and all but gifted the three points to the visitors late on.

With five minutes remaining, the home team lost possession on their left just inside their own half. Wexford punished the ill-advised pass from Jack Reynolds to nip in and provide Doherty with the chance to settle the game, the experienced striker taking full advantage of the missing defensive cover to slot home from close range.

The outcome was now not in doubt and Wexford would soon celebrate a rare away win. Four additional minutes were indicated and Stephen Meaney had the last home chance during this period. Summing up the Town's night though, the shot from the substitute cleared the crossbar.

 

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