Match Report: vs Athlone Town




Battling Sligo Rovers lost out by the odd goal in three in this action-packed Avenir Sports All-Island Cup game against hosts Athlone Town on Saturday night.

The concession of two goals in the space of three first-half minutes close to the interval ultimately proved costly for Sligo Rovers, but the battling qualities of the team was evident in the second-half as they got back into contention.

The Athlone women, who had a couple of good chances after the break, were hanging on in the closing stages following a fine 75th minute goal from Muireann Devaney that gave Sligo Rovers a lifeline, but they were unable to conjure up an equaliser.

Sligo Rovers manager Tommy Hewitt made three changes to the team that played out a draw with Treaty Utd in the league last weekend.

Bonnie McKiernan, Ciara Henry and Jodie Loughrey came into the team in place of Amber Hardy, Zoe McGlynn and Paula McGrory

Athlone started on the front foot and Hazel Donegan blasted over from close range in the third minute while Emma Doherty and Jodie Loughrey both had chances for the Bit O’Red.

Goalkeeper Bonnie McKiernan produced a number of excellent saves when she denied Maddie Gibson and Gillian Keenan as the hosts dictated without managing to make a breakthrough due in no small part to the efforts of Kelsey Munroe, in the opening half, and Keeva Flynn.

However, Sligo Rovers conceded a goal of the ‘soft variety four minutes from the interval when an Athlone corner bounced off Ciara O’Neill at an unguarded far post and rolled into the net.

Then, in first-half added time, referee Daniel Murphy pointed to the spot after what looked like a 50-50 tussle for possession and Athlone went in 2-0 to the good at the interval when Chloe Singleton converted.

Both sides made changes for the second-half, but Athlone were solid in defence as Sligo Rovers tried to get back into contention.

Emma Doherty had a shot saved in the 70th minute, but further pressure saw Muireann Devaney finish to the Athlone net with 15 minutes remaining.

Bonnie McKiernan produced a superb double save in the 80th minute to deny Hazel Donegan as the hosts tried to get a third goal with the tempo increasing and goalmouth action at each end.

However, Athlone Town were hanging on in added time and defender Kayleigh Shine picked up a yellow card for an infringement on the edge of her own penalty area, but the resultant free was saved by Katie Keane.

Athlone Town – Katie Keane; Kayleigh Shine, Jesi Lynne Rossman, Kate Slevin, Gillian Keenan, Chloe Singleton, Jenaya Robertson, Roisin Molloy, Madison Gibson, Hazel Donegan, Ciara O’Neill. 

Subs – Casey Howe for Gibson, Laurie Ryan for Singleton and Mary Philips for Slevin all 61 mins, Aoife Murphy-O’Connor for Donegan 92m.

Sligo Rovers – Bonnie McKiernan; Kelsey Munroe, Sarah Kiernan, Keeva Flynn, Eimear Lafferty, Emma Hansberry, Muireann Devaney, Emma Doherty, Keri Loughrey, Ciara Henry, Jodie Loughrey. 

Subs – Kelly Crompton for Kiernan, Zoe McGlynn for Henry and Cara King for Lafferty all half-time, Alice Lillie for Munroe 59 mins, Katie Melly for J Loughrey 74m.

Referee – Daniel Murphy.