Sport Soccer

Thursday 22 February 2018

Byrne's late strike rounds off disastrous night for Athlone

Athlone Town 1 Bohemians 3

Steven Beattie, Bohemians, celebrate's
Steven Beattie, Bohemians, celebrate's

Once again Athlone Town lost in the Premier Division and once again they have no one to blame bar themselves.

On a night when they played comparatively well – and certainly showed considerably more spirit than they have in earlier defeats this season – their self-inflicted wounds killed off whatever chance they had of a result.

And it looked a pretty good chance when Graham Rusk finished off a superb 55th-minute move – one which started with Mark Hughes dissecting the Bohemians defence with an angled ball which picked out Sean Brennan on the right.

From here, Brennan kept his composure to find Rusk unmarked in the penalty area and his first-time shot beat Lee Murphy to tie the game at 1-1. Yet just when it looked like the Midlanders were on their way to their first point of the season, disaster struck when James O'Brien's attempted clearance from Derek Pender's throw-in spun horribly off his shin and veered over the head of Paul Skinner and into his net.

Add in Derek Prendergast's needless sending-off – when he crashed into Stephen Traynor in the 54th minute – and Skinner's failure to collect Darragh Reynor's corner, which led to Daniel Byrne's opener in the 43rd minute, and the seeds for Athlone's downfall were sown. Jason Byrne's late goal added to their misery.

Athlone Town – Skinner; Dillon, Prendergast, Collins (Marks 45), S Byrne; Brennan (McMahon 58), Hughes, A Byrne, Rusk; O'Brien; Gorman.

Bohemians – Murphy; Pender, Lopes, Price, Reynor; Kavanagh (Beattie 64), D Byrne (Moore 84), Walsh (Corcoran 69), Devaney; Traynor; J Byrne.

Ref – K O'Regan (Kerry)

Irish Independent

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