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Men’s Match Report: Cork City (H)

Athlone Win Against League Leaders

High Flying Cork City were the visitors on the 31st of May 2024 where Athlone were victorious in a 1-0 win in Athlone Town Stadium.

Dario made two changes following his side’s 2–2 draw at home to UCD last Friday, with Jamar Campion-Hinds replacing Oisin Duffy, and Matthew Leal replace the suspended Daniel McKenna. Dario plans changed as Mathew was seen limping in during the warmup and this meant Noah Van Geenen returned to the starting lineup for the first time in a number of weeks following a long spell out with injury.

Both teams started well with nice passages of possession, but it was Cork who had the first real chance of the game in the 8th minute. A nice bit of play down the right-hand side saw Nevin get a cross in it was laid off to Brookwell to get the strike away and it was almost turned in by Jack Doherty.

Aaron Connolly picked up a yellow Card in the 12th minute of the game which rules him out of Monday’s trip to Finn Harps.

In the 18th minute the ball was bouncing around from team to team in the centre of the pitch. Dean Ebbe won a header just inside the Cork City half and found Carl Mujaguzi who hits it into space on the right hand side giving Jamar something to chase and a chance to run at the Cork Defence. Jamar took on McLaughlin and his cross come shot went in over the Keeper’s head at the back post putting Athlone 1-0 up.

Cork had the ball in the back of the net themselves in the 30th minute. A well worked freekick from the visitors saw a ball whipped in left footed to the head of Charlie Lyons who headed it past Enda Minogue in the Athlone goal but it was ruled out as the offside flag went up.

The visitors had a great chance to draw level in the 38th minute when Jack Doherty won a header from a long clearance. It broke to Coffey, who found Cian Murphy on the right wing who took on Dylan Hand and managed to get his cross into Doherty, but he couldn’t find the back of the net. It was a great chance and Doherty will feel he probably could have drawn his side level.

The sides entered the break with the hosts 1–0 to the good, with Athlone playing all the football in the first half.

The second half City were stepping on and pressing Athlone trying to get back into the game. There was one change at half time as Oisin Duffy replaced Carl Mujaguzi.

In the 52nd minute, Barry Coffey picked out Cian Murphy with an accurate cross into the box from the right-hand side, but the striker’s glancing header was straight at Enda who saved easily.

A lovely move by Athlone moments after resulted in a strong appeal for a penalty but the referee waved play on. A long ball forward by Jack Doherty was intercepted by Oakley, who looked to go to the front himself and his ball was won by Charlie Lyons who looked to step into midfield. He was closed quicky by Dean Ebbe who managed to win possession back for his side with the ball breaking to Oakley and Athlone passed the ball well from Duffy to Connolly, to Tetteh who played in Duffy behind and a coming together between him and City’s Evan McLaughlin had the home fans on their feet looking for a penalty, but it was not to be.

Cork were reduced to ten men for the last twenty minutes when Evan McLaughlin was shown a second yellow card after he appeared to strike Oisin Duffy as he tried to collect the ball from the Athlone captain.

Cork thought they had drawn level in the 71st minute when Charlie Lyons chipped the ball over the out-rushing Enda Minogue but somehow Brian Torre cleared the ball off the line and kept the hosts 1-0 up. A great bit of defending by Torre.

Athlone were really showing the advantage of the extra player for the last few minutes of the game. The Cork goalkeeper Wade made some very impressive saves to keep his side in the game, but Athlone finished the stronger of the two teams and held on to win the game 1-0.

Following match day seventeen sees Athlone stay third on thirty points and Cork stay way out on front with thirty-nine points.

Unfortunately for Athlone, Aaron Connolly picked up a yellow card to rule him out of the Harps game.

Athlone Town AFC: Enda Minogue, German Fuentes Rodriguez, Noah Van Geenen, Dylan Hand, Aaron Connolly ©, Dean Ebbe, Jamar Campion-Hinds (Shane Forbes 95’), Carl Mujaguzi (Oisin, Duffy 46’), Amardo Oakley, Brian Torre (Jarlath Jones 92’), Gideon Tetteh (Ruben Candal 93’)

Unused Substitutes: Shaun O Donnell, Gabriel Padilla, Divine Izekor, Roscoe Rubinstein, (Matthew Leal injured in the warmup)

Bookings: Connolly (13), Van Geenen (64), Ebbe (70), Duffy (71), Oakley (97)

Attendance: 852

AthloneTownAFC.ie Man of The Match: Brian Torre