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Next Senior Women's Match: Sat,July 13th (A) crest
Next Senior Men's Match: Fri, July 19th (H) crest

Women’s Match Report: Shelbourne FC (H)

Gibson Super Strike Seals a Draw

Athlone Town AFC and Shelbourne is growing into a rivalry for the ages. Shelbourne have dominated this fixture in previous years but there hasn’t been much to separate them in the last twelve months. There is a great respect between the clubs but there is a real will to win also.

Athlone started brightly in the game and retained the ball well to early pressure on the Shels defence. The first chance of any significance fell to the visitors when captain Pearl Slattery got onto the end of a corner from the righthand side, and her header never gave Katie Keane much concern as it sailed over the bar.

Athlone were feeling their way back into the game and in the 14th minute, Chloe Singleton recovered possession for the hosts and passed the ball back to Kate Slevin who miscontrolled the ball and gave a way a freekick stretching to tackle Noelle Murray picking up the first yellow of the game. The resulting freekick forced Keane to make a good save by getting across to stop a great shot by Alex Kavanagh.

Athlone had created chances up to this but in the 17th minute they almost found the front, the bright Slevin linked well with Shauna Brennan who crossed well to find Roisin Molloy in the box whose header was narrowly wide of the post.

Both teams were creating opportunities, but the next noteworthy chance fell to Athlone when a Singleton pass set Molloy away on the righthand side and her weighted pass found Kerry Browne who fashioned an opening, but her shot was well saved by Amanda McQuillan.

Shelbourne went in front in the 25th minute. From an Athlone goal kick Christie Gray rose highest to win the header and the second ball was won by Rebecca Devereux who with a lovely piece of skill found Murray who’s looping shot went over Keane and put Shels 1-0 up.

Both teams were playing good football with Shelbourne going in at half time deserving their 1-0 lead.

This was a really good game of football, between two of the best teams in the country, and it was evident at the start of the second half as it was really end to end. Shelbourne could have been two in front just after the hour mark when from a corner Gray’s header from close range pulled a world class save out of Keane to keep the score at 1-0.

There was a real example of leadership from both captains shortly after this chance when there was a ball between Pearl Slattery and Laurie Ryan when both players were down for a lengthy spell after neither player gave an inch in the tackle.

Athlone started to turn the screw and pile on the pressure but there was no real significant chance that had Shelbourne goalkeeper McQuillan worried. As the game started to reach boiling point so did the players when both Keeva Keenan and substitute Madison Gibson were booked for kicking the ball at each other in the 85th minute.

Shels had a chance to put the game to bed in the 90th minute but a piece of brilliance by Murray to get time and space at the edge of the Athlone box was closed quicky but the recovering Jesi Rossman who played brilliantly throughout the game.

The home crowd was boosted by the fourth official signalling eight additional minutes. Athlone pushed forward and finally got their reward with a wonderful goal from Gibson. In the 93rd minute a Kellie Brennan cross was cleared by Shels captain Slattery but only as far as the waiting Madison Gibson who controlled the ball with her chest and her perfectly placed volley gave Athlone a share of the points.

This was a great game of football, played at a breakneck pace with neither team willing to give an inch. Cant wait to see them do it all again in August.

Following matchday three, this result sees Athlone in fifth position and Shelbourne in third. Our next outing is on the 13th of April at home to Peamount United.

Athlone Town AFC: Katie Keane, Kellie Brennan, Kayleigh Shine, Shauna Brennan, Jesi Lynne Rossman, Kate Slevin, Chloe Singleton (Gillian Keenan 73′), Casey Howe, Kerryanne Brown, Laurie Ryan (C), Roisin Molloy (Madison Gibson 50′)

Unused Substitutes: Isabel Ryan, Antea Guvo, Aoife Murphy O’Connor, Hazel Donegan, Ciara O’Neill, Maeve Wollmer, Amy Mahon

Bookings: Slevin (13′), Gibson (87′)

Attendance: 412 Player of The Match: Jesi Rossman

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