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Philly Gorman inspires Athlone to rousing win over rudderless Limerick

It is either a feast or a famine for Town this season. Tonight was a feast, pure

Philip Gorman was the star of the show for Athlone.
Philip Gorman was the star of the show for Athlone.
Image: INPHO/Donall Farmer

Athlone Town 3-0 Limerick FC

A WELL-DRILLED ATHLONE Town took a gutless Limerick to the sword at Lisseywoolen on this evening as they ran out convincing 3-0 winners.

Goals from Kealan Dillon and a brace from Philly Gorman ensured that the Midlanders picked up another crucial three points in their quest for survival.

Immediate life after Stuart Taylor wasn’t so pleasant for the Blues as they found themselves a goal behind after just three minutes. Dillon’s corner from the right was headed goalwards by Derek Prendergast at the far post before Gorman stole in to poke home from close range.

Limerick almost replied immediately. Ian Turner’s whipped free kick from the right found Robbie Williams unmarked in the box, but Paul Skinner got down smartly to deny the Yorkshireman with his legs.

Rory Gaffney was next to test the Athlone defence. Gaffney raced clear after a clever touch took the ball into space. Hesitating, he feinted to shoot before taking the ball wide and firing at goal – only to be denied by a Derek Prendergast clearance off the line.

The visitors were made to pay on 20 minutes. Sean Brennan kept a deep ball alive before playing the ball back to Sean Byrne. The full back’s inch perfect cross was met by a well-timed run from Dillon. The young midfielder made no mistake in powering his header past Shane Cusack.

Sean Brennan should have sealed the points on 42 minutes after he capitalised on some hesitancy from Stephen Folan. The industrious winger cut inside before unleashing a poor effort at Cusack from fifteen yards. Athlone did get the insurance goal before the half-time break. Stephen Quigley was afforded too much space down the right and his ball across goal was prodded home by Gorman for his second of the night.

Changes

Limerick made all three changes within the hour – Coughlan and McManus were introduced to give more attacking options, while struggling Tony Whitehead was replaced Mick Leahy.

Tam McManus had a chance to get one back with 15 to go but Ryan Coulter – Paul Skinner’s replacement – got down well to deny the Scot after Gaffney’s pull back. This day did not belong to the Shannonsiders.

Gorman came close to bagging his hat trick with ten minutes to go. Once again a cross from that right side troubled Limerick and Gorman won the aerial battle – nodding just wide of Cusack’s far post. He would again be denied in the 83rd minute. A free header six yards from goal should have been converted, but Cusack did well to push wide.

Limerick appear in dire need of some discipline, but a very well organised Athlone Town won’t mind taking advantage of that, as they continue to gather momentum.

ATHLONE TOWN: Skinner (Coulter, 46); Quigley, Prendergast, A Byrne (D Brennan 72), S Byrne; Brennan, Dillon, O’Brien, Hughes, Rusk (Sweeney, 68); Gorman.

Subs not used: Hearney, Clancy, Mulroy, Marks.

LIMERICK: Cusack; Nzuzi, Folan, Whitehead (Leahy, 62), Williams; Turner, Hughes, Agyemang (McManus, 59), Duggan, Murphy (Coughlan, 46); Gaffney.

Subs not used: Abass, Costelloe, Mann, Rainsford.

Referee: S Grant (Wexford)

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About the author:

Andrew Cunneen

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