View Full Version : Athlone Town 2- 1 Dublin City

08/11/2002, 10:49 PM
Athlone Town recorded a sweet 2-1 victory over a bad tempered and foul mouthed Dublin City in Saint Mel's Park tonight.

This was a memorable win as it was the first of the season in front of the St Mel's faithful, and it was also against a team that contained four players from the Athlone team that finished one place above the re-election spots last season, namely Alan McNevin, Brian MorrisRoe, Keith O'Brien and Maurice O'Driscoll.

Athlone attacked from the off with Eric Molloy joining Stephen Mullin and Gary Devine up front in a continuously changing formation. The early pressure payed off as Stephen Kelly headed home at the near post from a Molloy corner. Some slack defending let Kelly get to the ball first but he made no mistake and powered it home, sending the home crowd into early raptures.

Athlone kept the pressure up and after 22 minutes, Stephen Mullin found himself in acres of space, rushing in on goal. He kept his composure and cooly slotted the ball home past the outrushing Kennedy. Michael Harney picked up a yellow card on 27 minutes after a strong tackle on MorrisRoe. A minute later, Athlone had a great chance to extend their lead. Gary Devine was set up in the City box, the keeper went down, bringing Devine down with him, but the ref blew for a free out, rather than a penalty in.

A few minutes later and the most peculiar incident of the game occured. Athlone were about to take a throw inside the City half when the assistant linesman waved his flag for the ref's attention. After a moment or two talking on the sideline, the ref called over the City number four and produced a straight red card, for punching an Athlone player while they were waiting for the throw in. Moments later he was joined in the dressing room by the Dublin physio. The whole DC bench were up in arms after Town midfielder Michael Harney was let off blocking a kickout without a booking. They protested a little too vigorously for the assistant's liking. He could easily have been joined there by the rest of the technical team, who so eloquently told the near by Athlone Town fans where to go when the supporters told the bench to watch their language. Quite ironic. Two substitutions followed with Maurice O'Driscoll replacing Clarke and Paul Crowley replacing Stuart Holt.

The second half started in the worst possible way for Athlone with Dublin getting an early goal courtesy of O'Driscoll. Town heads didn't drop however and they continued to pile on the pressure. Stephen Mullin had a great chance in the opening minutes of the half but the ball just wouldn't settle at his feet and he blasted over and wide. Next up was Ronan Frawley, but the young defender just took too long with his chance from Eric Molloy's corner.

On 57 minutes Jan Fitzell attempted a back pass from very far out. Brennan rushed out of goal but fumbled it in the tackle with the DC player. Luckily a defender got back to clear it, but Athlone's heart in their mouths as he did so, bringing down the Dublin player. However the referee just waved play on and the danger was averted.

Minutes later and City got a free on the edge of the box for a handball. The ball was drived in hard and low. Brennan made a great save but the ball ended up in the back of the net from the rebound. The referee awarded the goal, and somehow hadn't noticed the linesman waving his flag. As the referee was pointing towards the centre circle signalling for the game to restart, he was surrounded by the entire Town team pointing out the linesman and his flag. After consultation with him, the goal was disallowed and Brennan took a free out. Heart stopping stuff!

With twenty minutes to go, Dublin introduced their last ex-Athlone player when Keith O'Brien replaced Brian MorrisRoe. Henry Kenny replaced his brother Enda minutes later. Athlone had a number of chanes in the closing period with Mullin, Devine and Molloy all going close. It remained 2-1 in favour of Town though and St. Mel's erupted as the Town finally got their first home win of the season. The team were applauded off the pitch, and in return the crowd got their applause from the players. The relief and joy was evident in everybody.

Next up is Waterford in another home game for Athlone. The last time the two teams met, Athlone fought back from being two nil down to salvage an excellent point in the RSC. On tonight's evidence, Athlone are more than capable of taking all three points from the League leaders.

ATHLONE TOWN: Brennan, Fitzell, E Kenny, C Frawley, R Frawley, Harney, Collins, Devine, Mullin, Kelly & Molloy. Subs: H Kenny for E Kenny [71]