Match Report – Vs Athlone Town




Goals in each half from former player Casey Howe gave Athlone Town the Women’s Premier Division points with a 2-0 victory over hosts Sligo Rovers at the Showgrounds on Saturday night.

There was a boost for Bit O’Red manager Tommy Hewitt with the return from injury of Jodie Loughrey who made her first start since she limped out of the action against Wexford at the beginning of May.

Goalkeeper Amber Hardy also returned to the starting 11 along with Kelly Crompton as that trio replaced Bonnie McKiernan, Kate Nugent and Lauren Devaney from last Sunday’s All-Island Cup game.

There was also the return of Leah Kelly from injury when she was introduced in the 78th minute and her presence will be a major factor over the next few weeks as the Bit O’Red continue to search for a first victory of the season.

Athlone came into the game with four wins and a draw to their credit and were unbeaten since losing on the opening day of the season against Galway Utd.

Contrast that to the form of Sligo Rovers who had three three scoreless draws in the credit column and defeats by Galway, Wexford and Cork City.

The Athlone women hit the front in the eighth minute when Casey Howe finished a Roisin Molloy cross to the net and soon after Kate Slevin went close, but was denied by Amber Hardy.

Sligo Rovers began to get a grip on the game at that stage and there was a real moment of controversy on 30 minutes.

Keri Loughrey raced towards the Athlone penalty area and got a touch on the ball ahead of a Katie Keane lunge that impeded the home player, but the chance of a goal was gone.

The referee took no action and Athlone cleared the danger amidst a series of protests from the Bit O’Red players.

The exchanges after the resumption were well contested, but Athlone added a crucial second goal on 65 minutes when Casey Howe once again displayed her ability with a fine piece of finishing.

That gave Athlone the momentum to dictate for the remainder although they were pushed all the way by a determined Sligo Rovers side that had a couple of chances.

However, Jesi Lynne Rossman was a key figure in the central defence for Athlone and broke up a number of promising attacks by the hosts.

Sligo Rovers – Amber Hardy; Sarah Kiernan, Eimear Lafferty, Kelsey Monroe, Keeva Flynn, Kelly Crompton, Muireann Devaney, Katie Melly, Keri Loughrey, Alice Lillie, Jodie Loughrey. 

Subs – Jessica Casey for Melly 65 mins, Ciara Henry for Lafferty and Kate Nugent for J Loughrey both 72m, Leah Kelly for Lillie 78m.

Athlone Town – Katie Keane; Kelly Brennan, Kayleigh Shine, Shauna Brennan, Jesi Lynne Rossman, Laurie Ryan, Kate Slevin, Chloe Singleton, Casey Howe, Roisin Molloy, Madison Gibson. 

Subs – KerryAnne Browne for Molloy 65 mins, Ciara O’Neill for Slevin and Isabel Ryan for Howe both 88m.

Referee – Alan Patchell.

Assistant-referees – Paudie Hayes, Thomas Joyce.

Fourth Official – Emmett Dynan.