Athlone Town 1-1 Finn Harps

Despite having long spells of domination Finn Harps had to settle for a share of the spoils away to Athlone Town who managed their first point of the SSE Airtricity League Division One campaign after losing their opening four games of the campaign.

Michael O’Connor’s 78th minute equalizer gave Harps a chance to push on for a winner but it wasn’t to be at the Athlone Stadium.

Early on Mark Coyle saw a half-volley go narrowly wide as the visitors were pretty much camped in the opposition half. Then an Aidan Friel cross dipped over the head of Athlone keeper Nathan Murphy and hit the crossbar.

Harps had a great chance to take the lead in the 32nd minute but John O’Flynn’s header was cleared off the line by Ger Smith.

Athlone were better after the break and took the lead in the 55th minute when superb long range strike from Shane Stokes gave Ciaran Gallagher no chance.

The visitors assumed control again but rarely tested Murphy. In the 74th sub B.J. Banda was most unlucky to see his header rebound off the inside of the post. However, Harps did equalized on 78 minutes when Lee Toland’s cross was headed home by Michael O’Connor. Despite plenty of endevour from Ollie Horgan’s men there was failure to create a clear match winning chance so Harps had to settle for the draw in the end.

Athlone Town – Nathan Murphy; Craig Shortt, Robert O’Leary, Daniel O’Donovan, Shane Stokes, Ger Smyth, Jake O’Connor, Rory McCullough, Josh Hogan, Ian Fletcher, Martin Walshe. Subs: Ollie Hamzat for McCullough; Aaron Brilly for Stokes; Cormac Raftery for O’Leary.

Finn Harps – Ciaran Gallagher, Aidan Friel, Ciaran Coll, Lee Toland, Mark Coyle, Paddy McCourt, Ciaran O’Connor, Mark Timlin, Sam Todd, Michael O’Connor, John O’Flynn. Subs: Adam Duffy and BJ Banda for Ciaran O’Connor and John O’Flynn. Not used: Jesse Deevers, Tommy McBride, Eric Whelan, Mark Hannon, Peter Burke (Gk).

Ref: Eoghan O’Shea.

 

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