Three second-half goals proved the big difference as Athlone Town overcame Donegal Women’s League in the Under-17 Women’s National League.
Donegal Women’s League 0 Athlone Town 4
By Chris McNulty at the Aura Leisure Complex
After Katelyn Keogh’s first-half goal gave Athlone the lead at the break, Ava Connolly and Robyn Hetherington netted in the second-half, either end of an unfortunate own goal from Donegal’s Holly Canning.
The scoreline was rough justice on Johnny Baird’s Donegal, who were well in the game for long spells, but just couldn’t find a spark in the final third.
When Connolly slotted home in the 51st minute after skipping through on goal to make it 2-0, it was curtains for the battling hosts.
The opener had arrived after only eight minutes as Keogh tucked home a rebound when Neve Scanlan, the Donegal goalkeeper saved from Connolly.
Keogh, Connolloy and Kate Murphy were constant thorns in the Donegal sides with Connolly forcing Scanlan into an early save before the Midlanders – managed by former Athlone striker Michael O’Connor – took the lead.
Grace Hannon’s whipped cross flashed wide of the far post before Scanlon saved well from Keogh after another superb combination with Connolly.
Megan Havlin called Athlone ‘keeper Zoe O’Callaghan into action as she let fly from distance and Ciara McGarvey’s teasing corner zoomed across goal pleading for a touch that never arrived.
Donegal had a big let off in the opening minute of the second half. Scanlan saved well from Keogh and Molly Page hacked off the goal-line from Keogh’s follow-up attempt.
Connolly doubled the lead after Scanlan denied Keogh at close range.
Havlin shot over the top from a free for the hosts and Aoife Gallinagh clipped wide after good work down the right by Helena McGee.
Athlone added a real gloss with two late goals. Canning turned into her own goal with just two minutes remaining and there was still time for Hetherington to beat Scanlon with a majestic finish from the left-hand side.
Next up for Donegal is another home game next weekend against Peamount United.
Donegal Women’s League: Neve Scanlan, Alannah Kee, Ciara McElwaine, Ciara McGarvey, Molly Page, Aisling Irwin, Louise Gallinagh, Aoife Gallinagh, Megan Havlin, Helena McGee, Coilín Hume. Subs: Holly Canning for McElwaine (half-time), Ellie McBride for A.Gallinagh (76).
Athlone Town: Zoe O’Callaghan; Aisling Roeside, Lucy Jayne Grant, Sinead Todd, Kayleigh Shine, Ava Connolly, Allie Hetherington, Kate Murphy, Katelyn Keogh, Grace Hannon, Robyn Hetherington. Sub used: Rebecca Collins.
Referee: Colm McConigley.Tags: