Adrian Carberry on win over Galway: 'It's a great scalp but we're still building'by Eoin Rosney
Athlone Town recorded their first win over Galway United in the league on Friday night since 2005. It had been a long time coming.
The most impressive part about Athlone this season is how quickly they have gelled together, and they are now starting to play some very attractive football.
Their last competitive game of 2020 was an 11-0 defeat at the hands of Dundalk, and since that defeat, there are only two survivors on the squad, Scott Delaney and David Brookes, both of which were unused substitutes on Friday night.
Facing into life in the First Division in 2021 after such a heavy defeat in their last game of 2020 would have been a tough task for the Athlone men alone, without having to face three of the promotion contenders (UCD, Galway, Cork City) in their opening three games.
Players such as Adam Wixted, James Doona and Stephen Meaney have all excelled in the opening two games, and Athlone now look like serious promotion contenders based on their performance on Friday night.
Speaking to Extratime.com after the game on Friday night, Carberry stressed the importance of getting off the mark early,
“It was brilliant, I think the boys were up for it today. We’ve a tough start with Cork away next week and Galway at home tonight. It was going to be tough and we needed something to get points on the board.
“We spoke to the boys during the week about that and how good they (Athlone) actually are. These guys have been around, they’re experienced players and they’ve come in here.
“It’s going to take a while to gel we thought but tonight, sometimes it just clicks for you too but we helped ourselves, starting quick, starting on the front foot and every time the ball went in the box, I thought we looked dangerous and I thought we looked like we would score.”
Galway played three at the back for most of the first half, and it cost them dearly with all three goals in the opening half coming from out wide.
They did revert to a back four in the second half, but Carberry remarked that it was something that they concentrated on during the week.
“Galway playing with three at the back you know they’re almost three centre backs really rather than full backs and we just knew that would be an opportunity for our players to get at them and take them on and I thought James Doona and Adam Wixted did that very well tonight,” Carberry added.
Four points from their opening two games is a very decent return and is a huge boost to Carberry and his Athlone side, especially after being underdogs in both games. He admitted that the games are coming thick and fast, but they are relishing the opportunity of upsetting the odds each week:
“There are tough games coming, thick and fast. We’re down there (Cork City) on grass next weekend, it’s going to be a tough game for us, as all the games will be, but we are looking forward to it.
“That’s given us a great boost of confidence tonight and these players are fantastic. We are delighted with tonight, it’s a great scalp for us but we are still building. I think we can improve more there’s still work to be done so we will keep working hard.”