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Match Report: Athlone Town AFC 3-3 Longford Town FC

Athlone Come From Three Down to Snatch a Draw

Football is full of clichés such as “goals win games”, “He’s scored too early”, “If it was on target, it would have been a goal” but the best one to describe El Classico tonight was “It was a game of two halves”.

It is difficult describe what happened in the first half, but we will try. With just four minutes on the clock Longford took the lead. A perfectly weighted Bastien Hery ball finding Adam Wixted between the Noah Van Geenen and Amardo Oakely. Former Athlone player Wixted calmly slotted the ball across Enda Mingoue for the lead.

Athlone grew into the game as the game went on and on 23 minutes Gideon Tetteth with Athlone’s first real shot on goal was always comfortable for Jack Brady.

Things would only get better for Longford who were very comfortable in possession and finding “Acres of Space”. From a corner on the left hand side, Wixted crossed the ball and Oisin Hand rose to head home and double the Longford lead.

Just before the half time whistle Longford added a third and it seemed to be game over as the corner from Hery was turned into his own net by Jarlet Jones and it seemed that was that. Athlone seemed despondent as they walked in at halftime and some of the crowd had seen enough.

Athlone started the Second half brightly but with no real end product and it was Longford who had the first real opening on the 53rd minute where Chris Lyons and Wixted combined well but it was cleared by the Athlone defence.

Dean Ebbe grabbed hold of the game and in the 60th minute he got one back for Athlone when former Athlone player Dean O Shea slipped allowing Ebbe to smash the ball home and give Athlone a lifeline.

With 70 minutes on the clock Ebbe pounced to get his and The Town’s second after a Jamal Ibrahim shot was saved by Brady the ball fell to Ebbe to guide it home and it was game on.

6 minutes later Shane Forbes who was introduced at the 45 minutes mark picked up the ball and drove at the heart of the Longford defence and slid in Ibrahim who made no mistake and found the back of the net and it was 3-3.

It was Athlone who were now in charge, and will probably disappointed not to be in front when Brian Torre found Ebbe who shot low but it was well saved by Brady. Athlone were reduced to 10 men when Oakley was sent off for a second yellow card after a reckless challenge.

Ten-man Athlone held on and will be happy with their second half performance but Longford will be looking at this as two points dropped. spoke to Aaron Connolly after the game and asked his thoughts on tonights game. “We knew it wasn’t good enough in the first half and it’s been like that the last couple of weeks. We know we’re a better team than what we’re showing so at half-time we decided as a group to get back to the basics and try do them well. I think we did that and showed a bit of character which will give us confidence going down to Cork next week.”

Following match day six this result moves Athlone to fifth Longford still sit at the foot in the table but with three games less played than most other teams.

Athlone Town AFC: Enda Minogue, Jarlath Jones, Noah van Geenen (Abdul Barrie 72’), Daniel McKenna, Ruban Candal (Oisin Duffy 88’), Aaron Connolly ©, Dean Ebbe, Amardo Oakley, Jamal Ibrahim (Divine Izekor 79’), Gideon Tette (Shane Forbes 45’), Brian Torre

Unused Substitutes: Andrew Stuart Trainor, Dylan Gavin, Renei Batlokwa, Matthew Leal, Roscoe Rubinstein

Bookings: Oakley (33)(86), Barrie (91)

Sending Off: Oakley (86)

Attendance: 791 Man of The Match: Dean Ebbe

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