Shelbourne thrashed Athlone Town at Tolka Park on Friday night after a second half display that is among the best of their season so far. Gordon Watson had twice given Athlone the lead in the first half, with Ian Ryan equalising after the first. But a Dinny Corcoran hat-trick, along with a Philly Gorman header saw off a tired Athlone side. Stephen Relihan grabbed a late consolation for Athlone before Adelberto Pinto made it six for Shels.
Shelbourne started off quite well, with Corcoran and Gorman looking dangerous up front – the former shooting wide after just three minutes following good link-up play with David Cassidy.
But Athlone grew into the game and deserved the opener when it came early in the half. The goal was smashing as Kevin Williamson chipped the ball beyond the Shels defence before Robbie Benson volleyed it to Watson to head in.
Shels responded well, despite never really getting to grips in the centre of the park as David McGill and Cassidy struggled to stay on the good side of the ref. But after fifteen minutes of huffing and puffing, Sean Byrne made the difference as Shels equalised. Byrne charged forward from just inside Athlone’s half. Unopposed, the full- back shot low and hard from thirty yards out and beat Chris Bennion at the far post.
However Athlone were not overawed and retook the lead before the break. Niall Scullion linked up well with debutant Dean Marshall down the right, ran deep into the corner before crossing high and deep towards the back post. Tom O’Halloran was unmarked and nodded it across goal for Watson to nod in his second.
Shels started the second half brilliantly – equalising within ninety seconds of the restart. Cassidy’s free kick found Gorman on the edge of the area. Gorman leaped and managed to head it towards the far corner and just beyond Bennion. Poor keeping really, but a fine header nonetheless.
Shels continued to push and Athlone’s defence notably began to tire. Colin O’Brien latched onto a nice move on the hour but couldn’t beat Bennion. Ten minutes later and Shels should have scored. Corcoran met Cassidy’s corner but his header was palmed onto the bar by a diving Bennion. A minute later and he bent one just wide and moments after that O’Brien drilled a cross just beyond the far post.
However Shels finally led with fifteen minutes to go. Another Cassidy corner was met by Corcoran, who finally beat Bennion. Thirty seconds later and Corcoran made it four as he fought his way beyond the defence and finished excellently in the far corner.
Athlone were a beaten team at this stage and it was no surprise when Corcoran made it five, with his Hat-trick. Gorman was provider this time. There was still time Athlone to pull one back through Stephen Relihan, but Pinto volleyed in Shels’ sixth at the death.
Shelbourne: Delany, Scully, Byrne, Ryan, Coburn, Pinto, McGill, Cassidy, Corcoran, Gorman, O’Brien
Subs not used: O’Reilly, Clarke, Amizi, Quigley, Williams
Athlone Town: Bennion, Scullion, O’Connell, Williamson, Caffrey (O’Shea 77), McCarthy, Marshall (Skelly 70), Relihan, Watson, Benson (O’Hanlon 57), O’Halloran
Subs not used: Dolan, Schlingerman
extratime.ie Man of the Match: Dinny Corcoran.
Referee: John Grimes
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