Report: WNL: Rovers 1-2 Athlone Town

Athlone Town had to work hard for a 2-1 WNL victory against Sligo Rovers
at the Showgrounds with Gillian Keenan hitting the winner in the 86th minute.

Athlone started smartly and Roisin Molloy was denied by the crossbar inside 60 seconds to put the pressure on debut goalkeeper Farrah McDonagh who deputised for the unavailable Amy Mahon.

However, Sligo Rovers hit the front on eight minutes when a quick break from Emma Doherty unhinged the Athlone rearguard.

She played a precise pass wide to Gemma McGuinness on the edge of the Athlone penalty area and the Donegal woman finished superbly past Niamh Coombes at the far post.

Athlone raised the tempo and McDonagh advanced smartly to clear a good ball from Athlone before Orna O’Dowd blocked a shot from Madison Gibson soon after.

Gibson was rewarded in the 20th minute when she rifled home the equaliser from the edge of the penalty area.

Sligo Rovers had to replace the injured Amy Roddy with Ruth Monaghan midway through the half and the substitute was quickly into the action to deny Athlone’s Emily Corbett at the expense of a corner.

Athlone huffed and puffed for the remainder of the half, but it Was Emma Doherty who went close at the other end when a speculative effort skimmed the top of the Athlone crossbar 10 minutes from half-time.

Athlone resumed smartly after the resumption and created a couple of half chances that were well off target.

It remained 1-1 midway through the half and the hosts had a chance that was cleared, but there was nothing of any serious threat at either end.

Athlone continued to dictate, but were restricted to shots from frees that were off target and they also posed a threat from corners.

As Athlone continued to press, Lauren Boles blocked a free from Madison Gibson and needed attention in the 79th minute.

When play resumed Athlone eventually made the breakthrough in the 86th minute when Gillian Keenan  finished from a tight angle to secure a valuable three points.

Sligo Rovers – Farrah McDonagh; Leah Kelly, Orna O’Dowd, Amy Hyndman, Gemma McGuinness, Lauren Boles, Emma Doherty, Alana Doherty, Amy Roddy, Kerri O’Hara, Paula McGrory. Subs – Ruth Monaghan for Roddy 23 mins, Katie Melly for A Doherty 57 mins, Helen Monaghan for Hyndman 79 mins.

Athlone Town – Niamh Coombes; Jessica Hennessy, Muireann Devaney, Gillian Keenan, Emily Corbett, Laurie Ryan, Madison Gibson, Roisin Molloy, Scarlett Herron, Melissa O’Kane. Sub – Kelly Brennan for Corbet 57 mins,

Referee – Joe Hession.

Assistant-Referees – Richard Storey, Keenan Deering.

Fourth Official – Sean Stephens.