ATHLONE TOWN 3
CORK CITY 2
Athlone Town completed their 2022 SSE Airtricity First Division home league campaign with a shock success over champions Cork City on Friday night last in Lissywollen, a remarkable result for the Town as they came from two goals down to prevail in a five-goal thriller.
Athlone provided a guard of honour for the new champions and soon gifted them a two goal start as well. Dylan McGlade was involved in both as he scored the first and then set up the second. The City number seven cut in from the left after 5 minutes to fire to the top corner of the net. Athlone found themselves further behind after 16 minutes. McGlade with the cross from the left which Barry Coffey bundled home from close range. Athlone appeared in trouble but were handed a lifeline after 19 minutes. Gary Armstrong gained possession in front of the Cork dugout and advanced towards goal. City backed off and the Town midfielder took advantage to fire home from outside the box. There was little further action for the remainder of the half after the early goal fest. Athlone earned two corner kicks in quick succession just after the midway point of the half as Adam Lennon then sent a cross from the right wide. Armstrong had the last chance in stoppage time but was also off target.
Two early Athlone corners kept Cork on the defensive when play resumed with Lennon having another chance to score on 52 minutes. Cork earned their first corner moments later from which Matt Srbely fired wide. Athlones best chance to date in the half came when Thomas Oluwa had the chance to add to his goal tally but Gordon Walker cleared off the line. Cork gained another corner soon after but Athlone drew level from their fifth corner after 69 minutes. Lennon linked up with Armstrong to deliver the ball to the far post. Patrick Hickey headed the ball back into the danger zone where Noah VanGeenen headed home from close range. Cork were shocked but had a couple of opportunities to go back in front. Franco Umeh had a cross from the right saved with Srbely drilling the ball across the goal from the left. Cork changed their goalkeeper for the closing stages and Corey Chambers was soon picking the ball out of the net. Athlone completed an amazing comeback with 3 minutes remaining. A free kick was conceded by City just outside the penalty area. Aaron Connolly took responsibility for the strike which flew past the City defensive wall to the net. Athlone still had some time to hold out before claiming all three points. Five additional minutes were indicated. There was always the danger that Cork would score again but there was no response from the visitors in the dying moments. Athlone had the best chance of scoring next when two late substitutes linked up. Mathew McCarrick set up Jack Kavanagh on his left who should have found the target. The shot went harmlessly wide instead but mattered little.