The Women’s FAI Cup journey ended for Sligo Rovers this evening at the Showgrounds when they exited at the semi-final stage against an Athlone Town side that deserved to win the tie with a brace of goals in each half, writes Conall Collier.
Maddie Gibson was the stand-out player for Athlone and she scored twice in the opening half and then created the openings for another brace in the second-half.
Gibson’s 28th minute penalty gave Athlone the lead and the same player claimed her side’s first goal from play in this season’s competition about 10 minutes later with the benefit of a deflection.
That gave Athlone a solid 2-0 interval platform following an opening 45 minutes which they generally dominated.
Emma Doherty had the best chance for hosts Sligo Rovers in the opening half, but her sixth minute effort was blocked at the expense of a corner by Athlone’s Jesi Lynne Rossman.
Athlone were smartly out of the traps for the second-half and Rossman added a third goal for the Westmeath wide when she capitalised on a defensive lapse from Gibson’s corner and headed to the net.
With 15 minutes remaining Roisin Molloy added a fourth goal for Athlone as Gibson provided the ammunition with an excellent cross as she did well to keep the ball in play.
Gibson was also named as the player-of-the-match, an accolade she fully deserved.
On a positive note for Sligo Rovers was a crowd of 1,121 at the game which surpassed the previous best of 965 last season for the Bit O’Red.
Next up for Sligo Rovers is a midweek trip to Tolka Park to tackle Shelbourne on Wednesday night.
Sligo Rovers – Bonnie McKiernan; Leah Kelly, Sarah Kiernan, Eimear Lafferty, Alice Lillie, Jodie Loughrey, Lauren Boles, Emma Hansberry, Keri Loughrey, Emma Doherty, Casey Howe.
Subs – Katie Melly for Lillie and Paula McGrory for Kelly both 67 mins, Amy Roddy for Lafferty and Helen Monaghan for Howe both 82m, Jessica Casey for Hansberry 85m
Athlone Town – Katie Keane; Kayleigh Shine, Shauna Brennan, Jesi Lynne Rossman, Dana Scheriff, Chloe Singleton, Kellie Brennan, Laurie Ryan, Lauren Karabin, Roisin Molloy, Madison Gibson.
Subs – Muireann Devaney for Karabin 60 mins, Kate Slevin for Brennan 72m, Gillian Keenan for Rossman and Isabel Ryan for Molloy both 78m.
Referee – Daryl Carolan.