Shelbourne 3 Athlone Town 3

November 8, 2018

Athlone Town travelled to Tolka Park Friday looking to keep up their good recent form to end a tough week where they had played three of the top four sides in the division.
Shelbourne got of to the better start with the majority of the possession.  Shelbourne had the first real chance of the game when Dave Freeman tried to sneak a free kick inside Ciaran Kelly’s near post but the ball snuck past the outside of the post.
In the 10th Minute it was the visitors that took the lead when the impressive Johnny Mernagh snuck inside the Shels defence and crashed the ball of the underside of the crossbar and Jason McCartney was on hand to side foot the ball to the back of the net.
Then came Shels best chance of the first half when a Ciaran Kelly clearance was blocked by Forsythe and left him with a clear chance on goal but he seemed to panic and between Ciaran Kelly, the post and some last gasp tackles by the Athlone defence the ball was cleared.
Shelbourne then had the better chances in the remaining minutes of the second half with Rutherford and Gorman shots being well saved by Kelly.

Whatever Dermot Keely said to his charges at half time seemed to work as two minutes into the half a long speculative ball evaded the Town defence and Forsythe’s run took him onto the ball and he shot low to the right of Ciaran Kelly to equalise.  Amazingly from the restart Athlone lost possession and Shels attacked with a ball crossed in from the right from McCabe was met by the head of Forsythe who powered it to the back of the net for his second goal in 60 secs.

Ten minutes later a great run from Ian Coffey found him time and space but his effort rebounded off the upright so it left Mernaghs poaching instincts to show through as he put the ball in from the near post

Shels were then reduced to 10 men when the every dangerous McCabe was shown a straight red after an off the ball incident involving Nigel Keady was spotted by the assistant referee Paula Brady.

Athlone then lost the numerical advantage when Jim Sheridan received a second yellow card for a foul on Philly Gorman.

Athlone then looked to have secured the win when a long ball was collected by Mernagh whose pace took him away from the defenders and a shot across the goal nestled in the back of the Shelbourne net.

Almost straight from the kick off Mark Rutherford made it to the Athlone by line and his cross looked to take a few deflections before nestling in the Athlone goal.

Johnny Mernagh then had a chance to get his hat trick when in almost a replica of his second goal received the ball but this time his shot low and hard across the Shels goal was saved by the fingertips of Dean Delaney and the ball agonisingly went past the post.

Shelbourne: Delaney; Chambers, Hedderman, Brennan (c), Rutherford; Freeman (McCabe 33 mins), O’Brien, McAllister (McGill, 64), Keddy; Forsyth, Gorman.

Athlone Town: Kelly; Rossiter (c), Keady, Sheridan, Reilly; Maloney (Hamm, 81 mins), Jinks, Russo, McCartney (Fallon, 58), Lavine (Coffey, 52), Mernagh.

Referee: Conor Fitzgerald.