With the commencement of the SSE Airtricity League First Division campaign drifting closer, Athlone Town continued their pre-season preparations when playing out a scoreless draw with Bohemians at Dalymount Park on Sunday afternoon.
Bohemians, now being managed by former Town chief Keith Long, had plenty of familiar faces involved featuring four who served Athlone in 2014. Kealan Dillon, James O’Brien, Dylan Hayes, and Derek Prendergast were all named in Long’s matchday squad for this fixture.
Athlone were diligent defensively throughout and came close to taking an eighth-minute lead, but Gavin Boyne’s effort was blocked by Bohs’ Anto Murphy.
Dillon, an impressive performer despite Athlone’s relegation last term, had a long range shot gathered by Athlone custodian Patrick Dunican in the 10th minute.
The Gypsies, with a vastly reshaped team under Long, carved another opportunity moments later when Karl Moore slung in a cross, but Marc Griffin was unable to supply the required finishing touch. With Bohs pressing, Dunican was called into action again when denying Adam Wixted with a good reflex stop which kept Athlone on terms.
Unsurprisingly both managers, Long and Athlone’s Eddie Wallace, made a string of substitutions as the match progressed. Despite the alterations Athlone nearly pounced for a goal on 62 when a Michael Brown delivery found Marco Chindea, but Bohs custodian Dean Delany saved.
In the closing stages replacement Athlone keeper Philip Marceta did well to deny Adam Evans and Dean Kelly as the visitors frustrated Bohemians.
Bohemians: Delany; Pender, Murphy, Prendergast, Fitzgerald; Wixted (Kavanagh, 54 ), Lopes, Dillon, Moore (O'Brien, 60 ); Byrne (Kelly, 54 ), Griffin (Evans, 77 ).
Athlone Town: Dunican (Marceta, 63 ); Quigley (Doyle, 65 ), Collins (Friel, 36 ), Dunne, Hand; Chindea, Boyne (Foley, 46 ), Mulroney (Doolin, 30 ), Brown; Burke ( Brady, 46 ), Philly Gorman.
Referee: P Tuite (Dublin )