Athlone Town 0 - 3 Mervue UnitedSat, Sep 22 2012
Mervue Utd bounced back from last week’s poor display in the cup to register their first win at Lissywoollen as Athlone Town suffered a second successive 3-0 defeat on home soil in the Airtricity First Division on Friday night.
Johnny Glynn’s young guns showed no ill effects or lack of confidence after last week’s disappointing cup exit as they played some excellent passing football, particularly in the second half, where they could easily have doubled the tally they finished the game with.
The game started so differently as the home side were quick out of the blocks and had created two decent chances in the opening six minutes. Just past the minute mark Stephen Relihan slipped a pass through to Mark Sherlock and he poked the ball past Ger Hanley but the ball struck the bottom of the post before being cleared by Michael McSweeney.
Five minutes later and Niall Scullion played a lovely ball to Mark McGoldrick but he failed to beat Hanley as the visiting keeper parried his shot before McSweeney cleared the loose ball off the line. Athlone should have been ahead on 19 minutes when McGoldrick passed up two chances to open the scoring.
Full back Damien Rushe delivered a dangerous ball into the six yard box which McGoldrick completely missed and then poor defending resulted in the striker reclaiming the ball but once again Hanley saved well as he pushed the ball out for a corner from close range.
After a shaky opening half hour the visitors came out of their shell as they started to pass the ball around and looked a different side. On 32 minutes some lovely passing between Cian McBrien, Etanda Nkololo and Shane Keogh ended with Keogh spreading the ball out wide to his cousin Jason Molloy who beat Kevin Williamson with ease but fired into the hands of home keeper Pat Jennings.
Mervue finished the half on the up as Nkololo chipped a ball just wide of Jennings post after some more trickery and Pat Hoban lifted another effort just too high with the home keeper caught off his line a minute before the break.
They continued that play into the second half and seven minutes after the re-start should have gone ahead with another passage of good passing play. McBrien and Molloy exchanged passes before setting Biansumba away down the right and the striker laid the ball into the path of the supporting Tom King who pulled the ball back to Hoban but he fired the chance wide.
An unmarked Biansumba then headed a Molloy corner kick over on 57 minutes, while ten minutes later Nkololo picked up another excellent Keogh pass and cut inside two defenders but drove his shot into the side netting.
Glynn’s side were now threatening every time they moved forward and they finally broke the deadlock on 69 minutes. Molloy did well down the right before delivering the ball to the back post were King knocked the ball back across the goalmouth for Hoban to head home his 11th goal of the season.
Five minutes later and Athlone’s task was made all the more harder when Shane Dunne received a second yellow card for clattering into Martin Conneely and referee Robert Harvey subsequently issued red as the home side were reduced to ten.
That extra space just played into the hands of a Mervue side that were now looking to exploit the pace of Nkololo and Biansumba. And with 11 minutes remaining Biansumba did double their lead when he side footed home a pin point cross from left full Stephen Walsh.
Nkololo had a couple of chances to treble that lead but failed to hit the target from good positions, while sub Brian Connolly released Biansumba through on goals with two minutes to go but Jennings advanced to save his first effort and he fired the rebound over an empty goals.
Hanley remained alert at the other end as he saved smartly pushing a Mark Sherlock on target effort away for a corner. Two minutes into injury time and Connolly and Biansumba raced clear of the home defence before the former fired straight at Jennings and Biansumba lifted the loose ball straight into a grateful home keeper’s hands.
Though Jennings was to be beaten for a third time with virtually the last kick of the game as winger Connolly found Hoban at the back post and the striker’s first time shot struck the inside of the near post before nestling in the far corner for 3-0.
Athlone Town: Pat Jennings; Damien Rushe (Barry O’Mahoney 76), Brian McCarthy, Joe Woods, Kevin Williamson; Niall Scullion, Stephen Relihan (Ian Sweeney 67), Shane Dunne, Val Feeney; Mark Sherlock, Mark McGoldrick (Jordan Conroy 76).
Subs Not Used: Gareth Higgins (GK), Ross Kenny, Lee Sung, Garvan Broughall.
Booked: Dunne (17), McCarthy (23), Williamson (45).
Sent Off: Dunne (second yellow 74).
Mervue Utd: Ger Hanley; Tom King, Michael McSweeney, Martin Conneely, Stephen Walsh; Etanda Nkololo, Cian McBrien (Brian Connolly 87), Shane Keogh (Alex Lee 82), Jason Molloy (Kevin Crehan 82); Jean Biansumba, Pat Hoban.
Subs not used: Connor Gleeson (GK), Andy Higgins, Marc Ludden.
Booked: Keogh (26), Conneely (85).
Referee: Robert Harvey (Dublin).
Extratime.ie Man of the Match: Etanda Nkololo (Mervue Utd). A constant danger on the wing all night.