Longford Town took all three points in the 1st Midlands El Classico of the season and in turn ended Athlone Towns unbeaten start to the season thanks to a David O’Sullivan hat trick.
Athlone lined out without Val Feeney who couldn’t shake of an injury picked up in last weekend’s win over Wexford while Longford were without Noel Haverty, Don Cowan and Rhys O’Gorman
It was Athlone who were dominating possession early on and 13 mins in a Jason Lyon’s cross fell kindly to Conor Barry who made a complete mess of his shot on goal. Two minutes later Athlone were made pay for the missed chance when ex Athlone Town player Gavin Boyne back heeled to David O’Sullivan who made no mistake in giving the away side the lead.
On 29 mins a McGlade free kick evaded the home defence and Labuts in the Athlone goal couldn’t get to it but luckily no one from the visitors was close enough to get a touch.
On 31 mins Conor Barry again failed to take a chance when a Viegas free fell nicely to him but when it was easier to score he somehow missed the target.
Athlone then piled on the pressure looking to get back into the game with Viegas again missing when it was easier to score on 34 mins.
Three minutes before half time Athlone were made pay for the missed chances when a Longford corner taken by Langtry was headed home by O’Sullivan.
On 49 mins Longford put the game beyond Athlones reach when what can be described as a freak goal was netted by O’Sullivan for his hat trick after a Langtry volley fell to O’Sullivan who in turn volleyed home.
Chance for Viegas and Lyons followed only to be put straight at Skinner before on 68 mins a Grigorovs shot went just wide of Skinners post. Two minutes later second half sub Jason Molloy got lose inside the box only to shoot straight at Skinner.
Athlone continued to push forward while Longford soaked up the pressure and they held out until the final whistle giving Alan Mathews a win on his first visit back to the club since he departed during the mid-season break last season.
This loss drops Athlone Town to 3rd place level on points with the 1st two UCD and Waterford FC heading into a really tough trip to Cobh next Saturday evening.
Athlone Town: Igor Labuts, David Brookes, Kirils Grigorovs, Frederico Hernandez (Jason Molloy 51), Cormac Raftery, Colm Coss, Niall Scullion, Dragog Sfrijan, Jose Viegas (Sean McGrane 89), Conor Barry (Aaron Brilly 89), Jason Lyons. SUBS: Conor Gleeson (GK), Ryan Gaffey, Ian Dempsey, Peter Walsh
Longford Town: Paul Skinner, Stephen Walsh, Daniel O’Reilly, Mark Langtry, Aidan Friel, Gavin Boyne, Kevin O’Connor (Kealon Dillon 51), Dylan McGlade (Cody Mulhall 83), Jake Kelly (Enda Curran 61), Dean Zambra, David O’Sullivan. SUBS: Tristan Noack Hofman, Ian Fletcher, Karl Chambers, Jack Brady (GK)
Yellow cards: Enda Curran 73
Goals: David O’Sullivan 13, 41, 48