Athlone Town suffer successive league loss as Wexford FC claim narrow victory


John Dingle

Athlone Town started with a positive mindset as they looked to get their away campaign off to a winning start against Wexford FC at Ferrycarrig Park on Friday night last.

Glen McAuley fired over after six minutes and Oisin Duffy was also off target in the opening stages of the contest as the visitors exerted pressure on the home defence.

Thomas Considine had the first home chance when firing across the goalmouth from the right. Three corner kicks kept up the home pressure with Wexford FC’s best chance arriving after 29 minutes when Dinny Corcoran had a shot blocked by Micheal Schlingermann. Conor Crowley also fired wide.

Athlone then missed a good chance to open the scoring before falling behind, Cian Kelly delivering a cross from the end line which Thomas Oluwa headed over.

Wexford FC, however, were more accurate as Aaron Dobbs saw his shot blocked by Schlingermann but Harry Groome made no mistake with a follow up effort.

Athlone forced their first corner kick after 44 minutes but were reduced to ten men a minute later as Kelly, making his debut against his former club, picked up a second yellow card for diving. Athlone were now facing the second half with ten men.

Wexford looked to be on their way to an easy victory when they made it two nil after 55 minutes. Earlier, Corcoran had again been denied by Schlingermann while Oluwa had another good chance for the Town, but Wexford found the net for a second time when Dobbs made no mistake from close range.

The hosts appeared set to make it back to back wins but Athlone staged a comeback that could easily have led to a sharing of the spoils. Stephen Kenny shot over for the visitors with Dobbs having a strike saved by the busy Town keeper.

Just after the hour mark, Duffy had an effort pushed behind by home keeper Paul Hunt. Wexford did not make the most of the extra man and a Crowley shot which was blocked behind was surprisingly one of their last chances.

McAuley had a shot blocked by Hunt while three corners in quick succession kept up the pressure from the visitors.

Substitute Aidan Friel had a shot saved by former team mate Schlingermann, but the Town keeper was not tested thereafter.

Athlone took control of the closing stages but ran out of time as Wexford desperately hung on for the finish. McAuley had a shot saved while also firing wide. The Town striker was finally rewarded for his efforts on the stroke of full time when a cross from the right was slotted home.

Wexford were out on their feet as they nervously hoped to hear the final whistle. Four additional minutes afforded the visitors more time to try and grab an equaliser. Stephen Kenny had a chance and Hunt was called upon to make a fingertip save as Athlone pushed forward.

It was not apparent which team had the extra man at this stage but time eventually ran out on the Town.

Wexford move into second spot on the table while Athlone remain pointless at the bottom alongside Bray Wanderers.


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