Dramatic conclusion as Athlone Town show character to earn merited draw


Athlone gained a valuable point when a last gasp goal earned a deserved result against Treaty United in Lissywollen last Friday night.

After Athlone went two goals behind and were reduced to 10 men early in the second half, a late goal from Isaie Louis looked to be mere consolation. There was drama deep into stoppage time however when Noah VanGeenen popped up to equalise in the eighth additional minute and deny the visitors a first win of the season.

Athlone had the better chances but neither goalkeeper was seriously troubled in a poor opening half. The first chance of the game fell to Jamar Campion-Hinds who headed wide. Frantz Pierrot had a further chance for the hosts but there was little action for long periods, Athlone earning the first corner kick of the contest midway through the half.

Treaty’s Conor Barry then embarked on a strong run at the home defence but the ball was blasted over the bar. It was the last real chance the visitors had in the half. Athlone tried hard but Treaty keeper Shane Hallahan was not really tested. Campion-Hinds blasted over from the right with a Pierrot header also off target.

The second half contained all the goals as a dramatic game went right down to the last piece of action. Curran had the first opportunity following the resumption of play but fired a free kick wide.

The deadlock was finally broken on 51 minutes. Athlone believed that the goal should have been disallowed for offside but Curran still found the net from close range. Athlone soon responded with Pierrot firing a free kick wide.

Another controversial decision on 55 minutes looked to have added to the Town’s woes when Campion-Hinds picked up a second yellow card for a high tackle on Lee Devitt to leave Athlone to battle on with 10 men. Barry had a shot saved on 57 minutes from one of the few chances Treaty created thereafter. Athlone had a great opportunity to grab an equaliser just after the hour mark. Pierrot faced up to Hallahan but the United keeper pulled off a fine save.

Treaty looked to have secured the points when doubling their lead on 68 minutes. Another corner did the damage to Athlone as Curran turned and shot to the roof of the net following the delivery. The Treaty number nine then had the chance to complete his hat trick but saw his shot saved by Town keeper Enda Minogue.

Some hope arrived after 83 minutes when Pierrot set up Louis who forced the ball home. It looked to be too little too late though. Athlone earned their last corner after 88 minutes but there was late drama to follow in stoppage time.

Six additional minutes were indicated but action stretched beyond that. Treaty were about to celebrate when Athlone struck for a last gasp equaliser. Minogue sent the ball up field and eventually VanGeenen from the left saw his scuffed shot drift past the keeper’s right to the net, a remarkable comeback by the home team.


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