Michael Cooke reports from the Markets Field
Treaty United have qualified for the SSE Airtricity League First Division play-offs in their maiden campaign following a 1-1 draw with Athlone Town at the Markets Field.
The Midlanders led 1-0 at the interval thanks to James Doona before Kieran “Red” Hanlon landed the equaliser from a well-taken penalty 16 minutes from time.
Doona missed two chances to score the opener inside the first ten minutes. His first attempt went wide before his subsequent 30-yard effort was saved by Tadhg Ryan.
On 13 minutes, Michael Schlingermann was called into action after Charlie Fleming’s right-wing cross was poorly dealt with by the Athlone defence.
A miscued clearance fell to Joel Coustrain, who tried his luck from eight yards out, only for his shot to be denied by the former Mayo minor football goalkeeper.
11 minutes later, the deadlock was broken as Doona more than compensated for his earlier missed chances with a fine piece of individual brilliance.
He embarked on a marauding solo run where he rounded both Charlie Fleming and Sean Guerins before drilling the ball into the net from 10 yards out.
Ten minutes later, Treaty could’ve restored parity when Marc Ludden’s delightful cross found its way to Kieran Hanlon who headed it straight at Schlingermann from six yards out.
Kurtis Byrne subsequently spurned two chances to double the lead before Doona forced a save from Ryan on the stroke of half-time.
Treaty showed plenty of urgency after the resumption as Schlingermann was called into action on two occasions in the space of a minute.
First, he denied Hanlon from 30 yards before subsequently repelling Callum McNamara after he was set up by Marc Ludden’s impressive left-wing cross.
On 73 minutes, Treaty substitute Willie Armshaw’s 35-yard effort was parried by Schlingermann and the rebound fell to Hanlon who was subsequently brought down by the Athlone netminder.
Referee David Dunne awarded a penalty without any hesitation and up stepped Hanlon who confidently slammed home the resultant spot-kick.
Ten minutes later, Treaty were awarded a corner-kick when Hanlon’s cross deflected off Killian Cantwell. Ludden’s delivery found Anthony O’Donnell who’s header missed the target.
The game petered out thereafter and it ended in a 1-1 draw which was enough to see Treaty through to the play-offs while Athlone’s promotion chances have officially ended.
Treaty United: Tadhg Ryan; Anthony O'Donnell, Marc Ludden (c), Sean Guerins, Charlie Fleming; Mark Walsh, Callum McNamara (Dean George 61), Matt Keane (Jack Lynch 61), Joel Coustrain (William Armshaw 41), Stephen Christopher; Kieran Hanlon.
Subs not used: Sean McCormack, Alan Murphy, Joe Collins, Sean Oyibo, Bryan Murphy.
Sent off: None.
Athlone Town: Mícheál Schlingermann; Dylan Hand, Aidan Friel, Derek Daly, Killian Cantwell; Tunmise Sobowale, Brandon McCann (Daniel McKenna 68), Glen McAuley, James Doona, Kurtis Byrne (c); Stephen Meaney.
Subs not used: Tommy Holland, Donal Curtin, David Brookes, Ray O'Sullivan, Oisin Duffy, Katlego Mashigo, Adam Wixted, Lee Duffy.
Sent off: None.
Referee: David Dunne
extratime.com Player of the Match: James Doona