Athlone Town 2 - 1 UCD
Published: March 09, 2011
A dramatic late goal from 16-year-old Ian Sweeney helped Mike Kerley's inexperienced Athlone Town maintain their positive start to the 2011 season, and in the process eliminated UCD from this year's Leinster Senior Cup at Lissywoollen.
Sweeney - one of five untried youth team players called into the senior panel for this game - pounced in the 85th minute to finish off a move orchestrated by impressive right-back Niall Scullion.
Athlone began their First Division campaign with a respectable scoreless draw away to Waterford Utd, and this result secures a quarter-final berth in the Leinster Senior Cup. Athlone, who rested more experienced players like Tommy Barrett and Paul Danaher, started brightly, but still needed 'keeper Micheál Schlingermann to tip over a rasping free kick from Darren Meenan.
The Town took a deserved lead on 18 minutes through former Janesboro youngster Gary Higgins, who was then unfortunately forced off injured on the half hour mark. With two 16 year-old's (Seamus Byrne and Roy King) in their side, Athlone remained very organised and disciplined, although a much-changed UCD (madking 11 changes from the win over Drogheda Utd last weekend), were now enjoying far more possession.
The Students' eventually equalised on 63 minutes when Meenan connected with Sean Russell's cross and sent the ball into the roof of Schlingermann's net.
Athlone stuck bravely to the task though, and Sweeney clinically swept home the winner with five minutes.
Athlone Town: Micheál Schlingermann; Niall Scullion, Seamus Byrne, Jamie Carr, Joe Woods, Stephen Relihan (Darren Young 67’), Ronan Stack, Kevin Williamson, Gary Higgins (Robbie Murray 30’), Colm Smith (Ian Sweeney 45’), Roy King.
UCD: Mark McGinley; James Scallon, David O'Connor, Brian Connaughton, Thomas Boyle (James Kavanagh 45’), Paul O'Connor, Darren Meenan, Daniel Ledwith, Samir Belhout, Robbie Benson (Stephen Boyle 63’), Sean Russell.
Referee: John McLoughlin (Athlone).