Athlone Town slump to heavy league loss as Galway United show league winning form



John Dingle

Athlone Town slumped to their biggest defeat of the season as league champions Galway United dominated playing proceedings at Eamonn Deacy Park last Friday night.

The hosts opened the scoring with just over one minute played and had secured the points by the quarter hour mark with two more goals. Three goals were added on during the second half as United recorded their biggest ever win over the Town.

It took Galway all of 65 seconds to open the scoring as the away defence was carved open. The cross picked out the unmarked Darren Clarke who made no mistake from twelve yards range. Three minutes later and Athlone were further in arrears, the danger again coming down the left flank. The ball was knocked down to Stephen Walsh who forced the ball home from close range.

Galway were obviously in no mood to relax in spite of having won the league and made it three nil with just 11 minutes played, Rob Manley finding the net when shooting past the keeper’s right.

Athlone were now in serious danger of receiving a trouncing, the visitor's best chance of scoring falling to Dylan Gavin but his shot on the turn cleared the bar on 16 minutes. It was as close as Athlone came to beating Brendan Clarke who did not have a single save to make all night.

Moments later, Oisin Duffy went on a good run down the left but his shot flew across goal and wide of the far post. Galway eased up a little as the half progressed and earned their first corner kick on 18 minutes. Walsh then fired over from twelve yards range from the home team’s last chance of the half. Athlone's only other opportunity fell to Josh McGlone but his first-time strike flew wide.

Galway scored again within two minutes of the restart when David Hurley’s corner kick was forced home by Vincent Borden as Athlone failed to clear. Borden came close to grabbing a second goal but was denied by the woodwork when his header hit the bar following a corner.

The relief for Athlone did not last long though as Galway made it five on the hour mark. Clarke made space in the box to then fire a volley on the turn to the roof of the net. Athlone's only highlight in the half came midway through when substitute Aaron Connolly’s free kick was drilled wide.

The nightmare was not over yet as Athlone tried to make it to full time without conceding again. Galway proved ultra-clinical when presented with opportunities to find the net and Athlone were to suffer again with six minutes remaining in a move that summed up all their failings on the night.

There looked to be little danger when a cross from the left arrived in the penalty area. Manley however had time to take the ball down and then poke his shot past Enda Minogue who was again exposed between the posts for the visitors, the tidy finish completing the six-goal rout.


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