Paul Corcoran reports from Athlone Town Stadium
DLR Waves secured their fourth victory of the Women’s National League campaign when they ran out 1-0 winners over Athlone Town in a hard fought game at Lissywoollen on Saturday night.
Carla McManus’ first half goal was the difference maker with the striker nabbing her third goal of the season.
There was no long wait for that goal with the visitors taking advantage from their first corner on Saturday night, which came in the seventh minute.
Shauna Carroll planted a lovely ball right on top of the head of Carla McManus and the striker was able to get the flick on and nudge the ball just out of reach of Abbiegayle Ronayne in the Athlone goal.
Athlone Town had two good chances midway through the first half, first from an Emma Donohoe free-kick which didn’t quite have enough power on it to properly challenge Waves’ goalkeeper Eve Badana.
Then in the 19th minute, Catherine Hyndman threaded a lovely ball through to Katelyn Keogh inside the box who then laid the ball off to Kellie Brennan on her left.
Brennan took aim and fired at Badana but the goalkeeper had it well covered and made a good save to keep her side in the lead.
The home side had another effort on goal in the 39th minute after Melissa O’Kane received the ball in the box after executing a short corner-kick routine.
O’Kane’s effort on goal was on target but it lacked power and Badana was able to move swiftly to gather the ball into her chest.
Emma Donohoe went very close for the home side just after the re-start after Brennan played a smart pass backwards to the defender who was waiting outside the box.
Donohoe took the chance at a long range effort and it looked like it might squeak inside the post only for Badana’s late intervention to push the ball behind.
Some good play by Athlone in the 58th minute started by some great trickery from O’Kane gave them another chance on goal after the ball eventually found its way to Donohoe, who was waiting outside the box once again.
O’Kane had continued her run and she was in a great position to meet Donohoe’s cross with her head, the ball was just slightly out of reach however, and she couldn’t get enough power behind the ball to trouble Badana.
Rachel Doyle had a great chance to double Waves’ lead in the 70th minute after Shauna Carroll played a great low cross from the left flank right to her feet.
Doyle took the ball past Catherine Hyndman before firing off a shot, the ball took a slight deflection which sent it just wide of the post however.
The home side had a penalty shout denied by the referee in the 75th minute when Muireann Devaney appeared to be tripped by a Waves player in the box. Despite Athlone’s protests there was no penalty awarded.
Brennan went close for Athlone in the 80th minute when she was spotted inside the box by Donohoe with another great cross from the left.
The midfielder volleyed the ball towards goal but Waves shot stopper got her positioning dead on to clutch the ball into her chest once again.
McManus was denied a second goal of the game in the 83rd minute when she had an effort smash the left post having been put through on goal after a great pass from second half substitute Katie Malone.
Athlone Town WFC: Abbiegayle Royanne; Leah Brady, Emma Donohoe, Catherine Hyndman (Emily Corbet 86), Fiona Owens; Muireann Devaney, Roisin Molloy (Kayleigh Shine 82), Melissa O'Kane (Aoife Haran 90), Laurie Ryan; Kellie Brennan, Katelyn Keogh.
Subs not used: Ava Dolan, Ciara Glackin, Amy Hyndman, Roisin Jacob, Karley Leavy, Kelsey Munroe.
DLR Waves: Eve Badana; Katie Burdis (Niamh Prior 70), Aoife Brophy, Niamh Barnes, Jessica Gleeson; Rachel Doyle, Fiona Donnelly (Ciara Maher 62), Rebekah Carroll, Avril Brierley (Nicole Keogh 78), Kerri Letmon (Katie Malone 62); Carla McManus.
Subs not used: Catherine Cronin, Shauna Carroll, Rugile Auskalnyte, Oleta Griffin, Zoe Leonard.
Booked: Fiona Donnelly (37) .
ExtraTime.ie Player of the Match: Shauna Carroll (DLR Waves)