On Our Blogs new segment, Reporter John O'Shea Goes to almost every first division match involving Cork City FC, and here is the story of the Athlone game on Friday. It focuses more on the occasion than the actual game, but their is a match report.
The bus trip was quite enjoyable I must say and a good percentage of the 15 or so on the bus joined in a few City chants to get out vocal chords warmed up for the match . A certain fan who had his 18th the night before was hopeing for the best possible birthday present in 3 City points
After a trip to the pub where a few City fans played a few games of Pool while enjoying their pints, we then headed into the ground.
The Athlone Town Stadium has a decent setup it has to be said, with a nice enough club shop where hot food and refeshments were also served, given the shocking weather conditions in the midlands it also proved to be a shelter from the heavy rain which was about. Athlone have one stand, but it's a very impressive one. It was such a shame only 150 people turned up though , with about 40 of these from Cork as it would look fantastic if it were full.
As for the game itself, City pretty much were in control for the full 90 mins. Shane Duggan had a great game overall and it was he who got City's only goal of the game when he dribbled his way into the box and hit the ball under Michael Schlingermann and into the net. Half time City were 1-0 in a half were City had the bulk of the chances. The 2nd half City wasted more chances as Cambridge and O'Neil should have put City 2-0 up . Athlone's Brian Mc Carthy nearly did the hard work for us, when he put his foot out in the Athlone box and forced Schlingermann into a decent save. Things got worse for Mc Carthy though as he was shown red by referee Jim McKell for a 2nd yellow card. Cummins and Cambridge after this forced Schlingermann into 2 more saves and City fans were thinking about wether or not we would regret these chances. Athlone's recent new addition Declan " Fabio" O'Brian tested Mc Nulty in the City goal but towards the end City picked up the pace and even though more chances were wasted, we hung on the the 3 points. Final score Athlone 0-1 City.
It was a game we could have won 4 or 5 nil on another day, but 1 or 5 it all counts the same at the end of the day. The trip home saw some City fans starting up another sing -song and some also share their European Oddessy experiences, hopefully these sort of days will come again sooner rather than later.
I eventually arrived home about 1:30 am, 12 hours exactlly since I departed for Athlone. City lay in 6th place, seven points off the playoff positions . Maybe it's too much of an ask for City to get there this season, but with the great progress this club is making under FORAS hopefully next season promotion can be a real possibility.
Thank you for reading lads and we will have more stuff up soon.