Athlone Town made it two wins out of two with a 1-2 away victory over Wexford FC at Ferrycarrig Park last Friday night (March 3 ).
The game, played in difficult weather conditions, was slow to come to life. Some 16 minutes elapsed before Athlone had the first chance through Jason Lyons. The visitors continued on top for the remainder of the half as Niall Scullion fired over and Dragos Sfrijan also off target. Thomas Croke had a rare chance for Wexford, while Athlone’s Frederico Hernandez shot wide after half an hour.
The game livened up considerably thereafter as Athlone struck twice in 10 minutes to carry a comfortable lead into the half-time break. A throw-in to Hernandez in his own half saw the full back launch a hopeful ball forward, but Jose Viegas made the most of the opportunity by punishing the hesitancy of the home defender, flicking the ball home past Graham Doyle.
The lead was doubled on the stroke of half time when Colm Coss grabbed his second goal in as many games. Scullion was again involved as Athlone attacked down the right, and his pinpoint cross fell nicely for Coss who directed a header in off the crossbar from close range.
The second half saw Athlone under pressure for long periods. Wexford finally cut the deficit just after the hour mark when Sean Hurley’s cross from the left fell to Ricky Fox, who delivered a pile driver to the net from 25 yards. The home side might have drawn level a minute later, but Sfrijan was on hand to head the ball off the goal line after a corner kick.
Athlone closed up shop for the final stages as Scullion dropped back to defence and the sting soon went out of the home attack. Fine approach work from Conor Barry and Val Feeney on the right handed Viegas the chance of grabbing a second goal in the closing stages, but the shot from the Athlone winger failed to hit the target.
Five additional minutes were eventually played, but Wexford could not respond. The win leaves Athlone with two wins from two, and manager Colin Fortune will be hoping his side can keep up the good work for the games ahead.