UCD enjoyed a 4-1 victory over Athlone Town on Saturday evening with goals from Gary O'Neill, Daire O Connor alongside a Georgie Kelly double, while for Athlone Jason Lyons scored what turned out to be a consolation in the end for the Midlanders.
It took just 90 seconds for The Students to make an impact. There was neat play in midfield from Cian Kavanagh and Gregg Sloggett, the ball eventually found its way to the box with further neat foot work from Kavanagh and when it was laid off to UCD captain Gary O Neill from just outside the box, O'Neill let fly and it was 1-0.
UCD almost doubled their lead from the restart when Simon Power raced into the box beating several defenders but this time Athlone Keeper Igor Labuts was aware of the danger.
After a nervous opening 10 minutes it was a surprise when Athlone found the back of the net. The ball was pumped forward and when it landed on the foot of Athlone captain Jason Lyons he caught it on a half volley and with a slight deflection the ball found the bottom left of the net making it one a piece.
This injected an energy into Athlone and further chances from Connor Barry and Walter Invernizzi were to follow.
However, it was UCD that showed more dominance in midfield and on numerous occasions UCD’s Kavangh went close.
Athlone Town’s Dragos Sfrijan was almost gifted a goal when the Student’s net-minder Niall Corbet mishit a pass and the ball landed into the path of Sfrijan but he just couldn't quite manage to control it and the chance went astray.
UCD regained the advantage when Georgie Kelly made a great run down the left and he crossed the ball to the on rushing Daire O'Connor and he rifled the ball past a diving Labuts who had no chance.
It was UCD that started the second half on the front foot. Kavanagh, O'Connor and Jason McClelland all combining to put pressure on the Athlone defence
It took a special moment to give UCD a two goal cushion. Just after the hour mark Maxi Kougan pumped what seemed like a hit and hope ball into the Athlone half, just then a marvellously well timed run from Georgie Kelly found an advancing Labuts and with the sweetest of lobs the ball found the net.
The goal was well deserved and very well taken by Kelly. Then just on full time Kelly added his second of the game when he picked up the ball in midfield and raced forward dummied Labuts and to the roar of the home crowd it was game set and match.
The win leaves UCD in second place in the First Division. Next up for The Students is the return of Pat Devlin with his Cabinteely side on Good Friday.
UCD: Niall Corbet; Daniel Tobin, Maxi Kouogun, Liam Scales, Evan Osam; Gary O’Neil, Greg Sloggett, Simon Power (Daire O’Connor 22), Cian Kavanagh (Ben Hanrahan 90), Jason McClelland (Robert Manley 90), Georgie Kelly.
Subs Not Used: Sean Prenter (gk); Sean Coyne, Josh Collins; Gareth O Coughlan.
Booked: Jason McClelland ().
Athlone Town: Igors Labuts; Aaron Brilly (Colm Cross 63), Kirilis Grigorovs, Cormac Raftery, David Brookes; Jason Lyons, Dragos Sfrijan, Chris Rodrigues (Ethan Keogh 67), Jose Viegas; Walter Invernizzi, Connor Barry (Frederico Hernandez 75).
Subs not used: Conor Gleeson (gk), Joe Maloney, Roy King, Ryan Gaffey.
Referee: Damien MacGraith
Attendance: 150 (estimate)
Extratime.ie Man Of The Match: Gary O Neill (UCD)