One Mistake - One Point
Kildare County 1 Athlone Town 1
All the good work done in this game, which the Thoroughbreds dominated for all but ten minutes, was undone by a moment of nightmarish defending, which allowed Town to cancel out Philly Gorman’s strike which arrived just before half time. This lapse denied County a great chance to start the second round of games on a winning note and lift them further up the table.
Kildare got into their stride quickly and came close when after just three minutes a Colin Fortune corner was only half cleared and fell to Tommy Morgan, whose low shot from the edge of the box was well held by visiting keeper Anthony Jinks. Ger Robinson had a great chance to open Kildare’s account on fifteen minutes when Cathal Brady linked up with Gorman on the right and he picked out the striker with a superb cross. Robinson, who was just eight yards out and unmarked, headed wide.
Athlone's first threat came after thirty-three minutes when County keeper Austin O’Neill had to be quick off his line to deny Moran after a cross from Ian Rossiter. Colin Fortune was causing some discomfort in the Athlone defence with his frees and corners and from one such free on the right Cathal Brady and Ciaran Kilduff both failed to get the vital touch but the ball fell invitingly to Robinson. Robinsons blazed his volley just over the bar.
County went in front at the ideal time just before the break and it was scant reward for their incessant pressure. Another excellent ball into the box by Fortune saw Philly Gorman slip in between Phil Reilly and Des Hope to steer home his third of the season.
The visitors enjoyed their best period just after the break and Ian Rossiter should have done better when he volleyed well wide from a good position following a cross from Jason McCartney. Soon after Athlone manager Dermot Lennon was banished from the dugout following some verbals with referee McNally.
Lennon had hardly taken up his viewing position when his side levelled in the sixty-eight minute. Colin Fortune fouled Colm Jinks a couple of yards outside the box. County keeper Austin O’Neill got his positioning all wrong allowing free-taker Rossiter to literally pass the ball to the Kildare net.
Kildare fought tenaciously to undo the damage. Ciaran Kilduff found Philly Gorman with a great cross from the right but somehow Des Hope intervened to deny Gorman a simple tap-in. Kilduff then went on a run down the right and cut inside his marker but his shot went inches wide.
County’s last chance to take all three points came two minutes into time added on. John Broderick went on a run down the left and showed great skill to nutmeg Keady and cut the ball back for the inrushing Fortune. Fortunes outstretched leg guided the ball just wide of the right post, when a goal seemed certain.
A single point was a poor return for County’s efforts but they will need to be more clinical in their finishing and avoid the type of lapse which cost them dearly on a night when the opposition scored from their only shot on target.
County: O’Neill, Clarke, Donnelly, Broderick, Clancy, Kilduff, Morgan (Kavanagh 85), Fortune, Brady, Gorman, Robinson (Broderick 73). Subs not used: Slattery, Tyrell, Harte.
Athlone Town: A Jinks, Keady, Hope, Sherridan, Reilly, C Jinks, Byrne, Rossietr, McCartney (Lavine 56), O’Dowd, Moran (McGee 71), Subs not used: Hayes, Russo, Laffey.
Referee: E McNally (Cork)
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