Athlone Town FC Club notes for week ending Sunday 2nd December

November 8, 2018

Airtricity U19 Enda McGill Cup Quarter Final: Cork City 5-1 Athlone Town FC
Athlone Town’s unbeaten record, the country’s last remaining one, came to an end on Saturday in the Quarter Final of the Enda McGill Cup following a deserved win by last year’s league and cup double winners, Cork City, though the winners were certainly flattered by the margin of victory.

Athlone opened strongly and could have taken the lead within two minutes when Jordan Conroy, having been released by Ian Sweeney forced an excellent save from the Cork City keeper. City counter attacked swiftly and when a diagonal ball from the right hand side wasn’t cleared, a City attacker was on hand to nod home from close range.

Athlone lost keeper Jamie Coyne to injury in the first half, Brian Redmond coming off the bench to face what would prove a difficult second half for the Town. The opening passage of play reflected much of the first half, with the City keeper becoming the star of the show in a first half where Athlone had long spells of dominance, unable to beat the last man. Both sides felt that the referee was being unnecessarily fussy and it was creating a lot of free kicks where City had the opportunity to use their greater physical strength.

At half time Athlone were well in contention, the management highlighting the importance of set-pieces in the second half, which were to become crucial, Athlone finding themselves 4-0 down by the hour mark after City converted two corner and then a free kick in similar circumstances, showing excellent movement and strength in the box, which the away side struggled to deal with.

Athlone grabbed a late consolation when Jordan Conroy showed great skill to control and then volley into the top corner and Athlone almost pulled another goal back when Sweeney was denied by another super save. City scored a late fifth which flattered the leesiders, as in open play there had been little between the sides.

Despite the loss, Assistant Manager Alan McCaul was upbeat. “In the immediate aftermath of the game we were very down but it was a great learning experience. Despite the score I felt there was little difference between the technical ability of the teams, it really was physical strength to match the football that we lacked. It was a great game of football, we were a little naive at times, and City used their superior strength to good effect at set-pieces, which ultimately was the difference. It gives us a clear understanding of the developments we need to make individually and as a team if we want to be a competitive Elite team next season, where we need to be, and for the players to progress into the thinking for the senior team next season. We have to remember this is a youth programme in Cork that has had a long successful history, has developed five Senior Irish internationals, three currently in Trapattoni’s squad.”

The squad now turns the sole focus to promotion to the Elite division, away to Longford Town this coming weekend.
Athlone Town FC:>B> Jamie Coyne [Sub: Brian Redmond 14min], Michael Monaghan, Ronan Morris, Warren Conroy, Roy King, Alex Scully [Sub: CJ Isaysas 75min], David Brooks, Ian Sweeney, Eoin McCormack, Steven Conneely [Sub: Ethan Keogh 60min], Jordan Conroy

DDSL U17 League: Cabinteely 0-2 Athlone Town
Athlone Town’s U17 put the disappointment of last week’s Taaffe Cup exit behind them and returned to winning ways last Sunday with a comfortable and well deserved two goal victory away to Cabinteely FC. The two sides started the fixture level on points, though the away side proved much stronger in a game played in good spirits on a cold but dry morning in Dublin.

Athlone started brightly and could have taken the lead within two minutes when a Mark Geoghan effort was well saved by the Cabinteely FC keeper. The first half was even in terms of possession, but Athlone created the better chances with their share of the ball with Sheridan, Byrne and Geoghan all going close, forcing repeated saves and an excellent performance from the opposing keeper. Athlone went into the half time break in control of the game, limiting Cabinteely to a few half chances, but without the lead their play deserved.

In the second half Athlone stepped up the tempo and soon found their reward when on 51 minutes a left wing cross was headed partially clear where Dillon Sheridan was waiting and his excellent dipping volley from fully thirty yards left the keeper with no chance as it flew into the top corner of the net. Cabinteely almost hit back straightaway but an outstanding Colm Murray save guaranteed Athlone kept their deserved lead. This lead was doubled on 64 mintues when substitute Fergal Flanagan’s cross evaded the defenders and an alert Brian moloney was on hand to finish stylishly into the top corner of the net. Athlone were comfortable for the remainder of the game looking dangerous on the break, but never really troubled defensively.

The clean sheet will be particularly welcome and Athlone will look to add a further win next weekend in what is likely to be the final fixture before the league pauses for the Christmas break.

Athlone Town: Colm Murray, Danny Molloy [Conor Freeman 78min], Cian Hayden [Fergal Flanagan HT], Paul Scully, Joe Moloney, Dan Plant, mark Geoghan [John Drummond 60min], Charlie McMicken [Shane Dolan 50min], Aidan Byrne, Brian moloney, Dillon Sheridan.

New year’s Draw
In the coming days the club will announce details of our New Years draw which will give you the chance to face into the New Year with some exciting and valuable prizes.