Report: WNL: Athlone Town 5-0 Rovers

Three goals in the opening 11 minutes set Athlone Town up for a third successive Women’s National League victory as they hosted Sligo Rovers for the first time on Saturday evening writes Conall Collier.

A first minute penalty, awarded for handball, was converted by Emily Corbett.

Kellie Brennan added a second for the Westmeath side in the ninth minute when she finished at the near post with a suspicion of handball, but it wasn’t picked up by the referee.

It got worse for the Bit O’Red when Corbett finished well to make it 3-0 just a minute later.

Athlone Town, playing in the WNL for a third season and with a player of the quality of Gillian Keenan, the Westmeath side came into this game on the back of wins against Treaty United last Saturday and DLR Waves last Tuesday evening, both away from home. They also defeated Galway in March.

Rovers recovered from that early setback and in the 30th minute Emma Doherty’s free kick was scrambled to safety by Athlone ‘keeper Niamh Coombes while at the other end Kristen Sample saved well from Gillian Keenan and Kelsey Munroe.

The Bit O’ Red created the first chance after the resumption when Emma Doherty’s well-struck shot was saved by Coombes in the 55th minute, but soon after Athlone found the net at the other end when Corbett completed her hat-trick.

And it got better for Athlone in the 70th minute when Corbett claimed her fourth goal, another penalty, to make it 5-0.

No joy for the Bit O’Red on this occasion despite a battling and gutsy performance and they will complete the first round of games at home to Galway next Saturday at 2pm at The Showgrounds.

Athlone Town – Niamh Coombes, Fiona Owens, Kayleigh Shine, Jessica Hennessey, Muireann Devaney, Gillian Keenan, Emily Corbett, Kellie Brennan, Laurie Ryan, Kelsey Munroe, Roisin Molloy. Subs – Melissa O’Kane for Shine 63 mins, Rita Lang for Corbett and Lucy Jane Grant for Brenna both 74 mins, Millie Daly for Molloy and Ciara O’Neill for Devaney both 85 mins

Sligo Rovers – Kristen Sample; Kerri O’Hara, Ruth Monaghan, Orna O’Dowd, Gemma McGuinness, Lauren Boles, Emma Doherty, Amy Roddy, Katie Melly, Paula McGrory, Sarah Kiernan. Subs – Leah Kelly for Monaghan and Ciara Henry for Melly both 60 mins, Amy Hyndman for O’Hara, Fiona Doherty for Kiernan and Aoife Brennan for E Doherty all 75 mins.