The Midlands ‘El Clasico’ between Athlone Town and Longford Town ended in a 2-2 draw after Longford twice came from behind to earn a point on Friday night.
Conor Barry had the hosts Athlone in front inside the opening quarter hour turning in Ryan Gaffey’s free kick. Jake Kelly equalised just before the break when he lobbed goalkeeper Igor Labuts.
Athlone midfielder Ethan Keogh put them back in front on the hour mark with a header, but substitute Enda Curran had it all square again just minutes from the end when he slid in to score from Cody Mulhall’s Cross.
Caretaker boss Gary Cronin told us after the game, “A game we were close to losing so like last week I’m pleased with the lads hunger to keep going until the end. Even after the equaliser we created a great chance to win it only for their keeper pulling off a double save.”
“These derby games are never easy. I felt we created enough chances to have the game put to bed in the first half. We were inches from going in at half time only for a shot off the post. Athlone put us under a lot of pressure in the second half and we didn’t play like we can in the second half. To be fair credit to Athlone’s work rate on that.”
They had to come back twice in the game but was pleased that they showed the right character to come back, “Very disappointed to go behind again. It was a poor goal to concede by us. The changes we made had the desired effect from an attacking point of view. Cody Mulhall’s pass to pick out Enda was excellent and Enda put it away.”
“We were disappointed not to have won the game but there are some positives that we will take from the game. We are unbeaten in four and creating more chances for ourselves. We will continue to build on that.”
It was announced by the club afterwards that talented midfielder Dylan McGlade was leaving the club, and Cronin was sorry to see him go, “Dylan played his last game for the club on Friday night. Due to his own personal circumstances he is moving to the UK. It’s a pity for us because Dylan has come into a bit of form recently so we’ll miss that. Dylan is a great lad and myself and the club have wished him all the best for the future.”
Just like to announce my departure from @LongfordTownFC and say a massive thank you to the club, coaching staff & all the lads.
— Dylan McGlade (@Dylan_McGlade) June 25, 2017