Huge win for Athlone’s U-19’s

After an extremely turbulent week at the club, Athlone Town got their first win of the season at U-19 level after beating Shelbourne 2-0 at the weekend.

Goals from David Fortune and Joe Carmody gave the midlanders the victory and lifts them off the bottom of the Northern Elite Division table.

We caught up with their delighted manager Mick Dolan after the game;

“We are absolutely delighted to finally get a victory in the league. Saturday was a hard fought victory against a good Shelbourne side who have a couple of good wins under their belt.”

“We had three players from the previous weeks cup win over Galway unavailable through injury and suspension but the players who came in all performed very well, which is what having a squad is all about.”

“The windy weather conditions and the fact that pitches have dried out and hardened with the current spell of weather affected both sides ability to play very fluent football, but both sides put good passages of play together at times.”

“Our first chance of the game came from an indirect free kick in the Shels penalty area when their keeper had to handle an attempted back pass,but their wall stood firm as Joe Carmody’s shot was charged down.”

“Shelbourne played direct at times but were very dangerous down both flanks, and we were forced to defend deep in our own penalty area at times.”

“Shelbourne did get a penalty following a foul on left winger Josh Scully, but our keeper Jack Lydon pulled off a fantastic save to keep the game scoreless.”
Dolan was full of praise for his young keeper, “Jack deserves great credit for his appearance, and performance in this game, as he was unable to train all week due to a foot injury he picked up against Galway, and he made a number of excellent saves in the game.”

“Joe Carmody tested the Shels keeper with a long range shot, and Conor Layng who again had a fine game forced a great save from the keeper in the 34th minute.”

“We were happy with lots of things in the game in the first half but felt we could be better in possession and also deal better with Shelbourne’s attackers in wide areas.”

“We starred the second half positively and had a couple of good attacking opportunities which we failed to fully capitalise on.”

“Callum Brummell replaced James Carey coming up to the hour mark and we took the lead when David Fortune powered home a header from Carmody’s excellent corner.”

“Shelbourne upped the tempo to try get an equaliser but we defended resolutely, with Joe Dwyer having a superb game at centre back.”

“Shels changed to a 3-5-2 formation after bringing on two attacking substitutes but we were always a threat on the counter-attack, and Conor Layng had a good opportunity from his own hard work on one of those attacks but was denied by a Shelbourne defender.”

“Cormac Gavin replaced Mirsad Zejnullajo with eight minutes left and he was involved in our second goal, as his shot from Layng’s pass was saved and the loose ball was tucked home by Joe Carmody in the 88th minute.”

“Despite Shels valiant efforts we kept our first clean sheet of the season and all of the squad who were involved deserve the plaudits for our win. The players have been excellent in the last three games and need to keep this as our standard. The clean sheet is a bonus also as we have worked hard to minimise and cut out defensive mistakes, but as always there is room for further improvement and we will be looking for further improvement in our next game.”

He was keen to wish one of his players well after getting injured saying, “On behalf of the players and coaches we would like to wish Paul Costello, who scored a great goal against Derry, a speedy and full recovery from illness, which will rule him out of football for a short time.”

A very disappointed Shelbourne manager Wayne Groves said, “To be honest we played quite well. We missed a lot of chances but started very well with Josh Scully causing problems.”

“He was taken down for a penalty about 15 minutes into the game. Josh stepped up and unfortunately missed. I think if we scored we could have won the game. It gave Athlone confidence and they created some chances, and eventually took one from a corner.”

“They scored a second on the break as we pushed for a equaliser game over.”

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