Athlone Town stun Galway United in the Enda McGill Cup

Previously winless Athlone Town took a big scalp in the first round of the Under 19 Enda McGill Cup over the weekend, with a superb 4-3 victory over a high-flying Galway United. 

Athlone had to come from behind on three separate occasions, before scoring the winning goal seven minutes from time.

United started the game without their main striker Cathal Carney due to a groin strain.

Athlone manager Mick Dolan couldn’t hide his delight after the game. He said, “We are obviously delighted to win the game and all the players involved in the squad yesterday deserve credit for the performance and victory.”

“It’s our first win of the season and Galway have been doing very well in the Southern section but we felt that our performance against Derry last week wasn’t reflected in the final score line.”

“We stressed this to the players during the week and also that a cup game was a one off and a chance to make progress in the competition.”

“The game was quite open from the start and both teams created half chances before Mike Lynch put Galway ahead just after Sean Mcgrane had done fantastically well down the left to create an opportunity which we didn’t take.”

Mikey Lynch scores for Galway

“We equalised through Conor Layng following a quick Luke Kelly throw set Joe Carmody free and he set up Layng with a really good pass. Aidan Coyle put Galway ahead again with a superb free kick which came about from a very silly and unnecessary foul by one of our defenders.”

“We showed a lot of good quality in possession and equalised again with a superb Cialan Dollard header from Ian McCormacks fantastic cross.”

“Focus and concentration have been areas that have let us down at times in our games and we conceded again when we had plenty of opportunity to win back the ball.”

“We had to replace an injured Sean Mcgrane at half-time with Mirsad Zejnullajo on the left and asked the players to really give it a go in the second half with a few tactical adjustments to deal with Galway’s formation.”

“Joe Carmody got us level ‪at 3-3‬ with a great finish following Conor Layngs excellent through ball on 55 minutes. James Carey replaced Cormac Gavin on the right-hand side with 65 minutes gone and his pace created opportunities for us as the game shifted from end to end.”

“Our defensive work was much better in the second half and Joe Carmody got our winner with 14 minutes left.”

“It’s a great boost for the players and coaches to finally get a win as a reward for the hard work put in at training. The squad have taken time to adjust to this level of football and yesterdays result does not mean we have the answers all the time but it shows progression and something to build on going forward,” said Dolan.

“Everyone who played yesterday made a contribution and deserves credit for the performance and result from the team captain Cialan Dollard to Mirsad Zejnullajo and James Carey who both came on as substitutes in the second half.”

“We have a couple of players injured at present and it was good to have Joe Dwyer back in yesterday as he had been away on a school trip and picked up a viral infection which meant he wasn’t fit to play for us, and hopefully we can get the injured players back in soon also to boost our strength in depth.”

Photo Credit: Vinny O’Connor (Galway United)

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