Paul Corcoran reports from Athlone Town Stadium
Bohemians ended a six game run without a win on Saturday afternoon when they ran out 3-2 winners over Athlone Town at Lissywollen in the Women’s National League.
Erica Burke fired the visitors in front with a brace in the first half after the side had initially gone behind courtesy of a Katelyn Keogh goal for Athlone Town in the eighth minute.
Roisin Molloy equalised for the home side midway through the second half but Chloe Darby’s third goal of the season was enough to seal the three points for the visitors. The win moves Sean Byrne’s side into fifth place in the WNL.
Athlone Town’s first chance on goal came in the sixth minute when an Emma Donohoe cross found the head of Emily Corbett but Courtney Maguire was in a great position to get down quickly and block the ball on the line.
The home side were in front just two minutes later when Katelyn Keogh tucked the ball away with a great finish from just inside the box.
Corbett headed a long ball from goalkeeper Ria McPhilbin into the path of Keogh who did really well to break the tackle of Yvonne Hedigan before netting her third goal of the season.
Roisin Molloy completed a dominant opening ten minutes for the home side when she struck the left post from just outside the box with Corbett getting involved once again with the cross to the right side of the box to set the midfielder up.
Bohemians first real chance came in the 22nd minute after some great work by Chloe Darby in the middle of the park. The midfielder dinked the ball forward over the defence into the path of Erica Burke who went to chip McPhilbin and was taken down by the goalkeeper in the process.
There was no hesitation from referee Michael Connolly as he pointed to the spot immediately.
It was Burke herself that stepped up to take the spot kick and she made no mistake as she placed the ball into the bottom right corner to bring the sides level midway through the first half.
Burke put the visitors in the lead seven minutes later when Bronagh Kane found the striker with a great long ball from her own half.
It looked like Leah Brady might catch the striker, but the defender pulled up with an injury leaving Burke one on one with McPhilbin to slot the ball home for her fourth goal of the season.
Tommy Hewitt’s side battled well to get back into the game and they got their reward in the 54th minute when Molloy scored with her head when she met an Emma Donohoe corner-kick at the near post for her first goal of the season.
The visitors took the lead again in the 66th minute when Ria McPhilbin came well off her line in a crowded box to claim a high ball. The goalkeeper fumbled the ball and it fell into the path of Chloe Darby who stroked the ball into the empty net to put her side in front for the second time.
Melissa O’Kane nearly drew the sides level again in the 74th minute when Keogh nodded down another cross from Donohoe. The ball bobbled on the surface for O’Kane however, and her shot wasn’t strong enough to challenge Maguire.
Sophie Watters was inches from scoring a fourth for the visitors in the 81st minute from a corner-kick with Darby finding the midfielder’s head inside the box. Watters header glanced the bottom of the left post and went wide.
Athlone Town WFC: Ria McPhilbin; Leah Brady (Fiona Owens 35), Emma Donohoe, Kayleigh Shine; Muireann Devaney, Roisin Molloy (Kayla Brady 67), Kelsey Munroe, Melissa O'Kane, Laurie Ryan (c); Emily Corbet (Kellie Brennan HT), Katelyn Keogh.
Subs not used: Ava Dolan, Karley Leavy, Ciara McManus.
Booked: Fiona Owens (65).
Bohemians WFC: Courtney Maguire; Bronagh Kane (Jade Reddy 52), Yvonne Hedigan, Isobel Finnegan, Ann Marie Byrne; Chloe Darby, Ally Cahill, Sophie Watters (c); Naima Chemaou (Hannah Tobin-Jones 69), Erica Burke (Lisa Murphy 90), Abbie Brophy (Aoife Robinson 69).
Subs not used: Ciara Mulligan, Georgia Monks, Katie Lovely, Niamh Kenna.
Booked: Bronagh Kane (51) .
Referee: Michael Connolly
ExtraTime.ie Player of the Match: Erica Burke (Bohemians)