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Report | Galway United 2-2 Athlone Town

Galway United came from behind twice against Athlone Town to salvage a point at Eamonn Deacy Park.

The visitors took the lead midway through the first half when Taner Dogan was left unmarked in the box to head Ronan Manning’s in-swinging corner home.

United got back on level terms just before the break when Mikey Place pounced on a goalkeeping error from Aaron Myles.

Some slack defending from the home side allowed Athlone to regain the lead on the hour mark, Dean George’s initial effort smacked off the post but the rebound fell to Adam Lennon, who made no mistake from close range.

United substite Francely Lomboto grabbed a late leveller when he steered the ball past Aaron Myles at the near post after Mikey Place supplied the telling ball from the left flank.

Adrian Carberry’s side went close early on when Joel Coustrain drove in a shot that demanded a fingertip save from Kevin Horgan.

Killian Brouder then flashed a header wide after he glanced Donal Higgin’s corner towards goal.

The away side hit the front with Taner Dogan evaded Killian Brouder’s challenge and he was left totally unmarked to head past Kevin Horgan at the backpost.

Athlone continued to threaten, especially through the set-piece deliveries of Ronan Manning, but United grabbed an opportunistic goal five minutes before the break that levelled matters at Eamonn Deacy Park.

Mikey Place earnestly chased down a long clearance out of defence from Marc Ludden and the striker somehow managed to poke the ball past Aaron Myles before the keeper’ could pick it up in the area, leaving Place with the simple task of rifling the ball into an empty net.

Place almost grabbed a second just two minutes later when he let fly with a powerful drive that looked destined for the top corner, but Athlone goalkeeper Aaron Myles made amends with an important save.

United began the second half with more gusto, both Marc Ludden and Kevin Farragher had early efforts snuffed out, but it was Athlone who found the net and the Tribesmen found themselves trailing once again at Deacy Park.

Athlone substitute Jordan Carr got away from the challenges of Maurice Nugent and Killian Brouder all too easily before he delivered a cross which Sam Warde mis-hit when he attempted to clear the danger, the loose ball broke to Dean George, who fired against the foot of the post, but the rebound was turned home by Adam Lennon from close range.

Stephen Christopher almost pulled Alan Murphy’s side level but his goalbound shot was cleared off the line by Ciaran Grogan after Mikey Place set him up with a cross from the left.

United players steamed forward in search of an equaliser and it arrived two minutes from time courtesy of 20-year-old academy graduate Francely Lomboto. Conor Barry played a ball over the top for Mikey Place, who had drifted out to the left, and he set up Lomboto to sweep the ball home at the near post.

United players smelt blood and they poured forward in search of a much-needed winner. Firstly Wilson Waweru rounded Athlone keeper’ Aaron Myles, but his attempted cross was cut out by the Athlone rearguard, then Stephen Christopher’s left-footed effort curled just inches wide of the post.

Galway United: Horgan; Christopher, Brouder (Lomboto 70), Farragher, Murphy, Ludden; Higgins, Nugent (Barry 70), Warde (Waweru 85); Faherty, Place

Athlone Town: Myles, Brookes, White, Delaney, George, Manning, Dogan, Coustrain (Carr 40 – Reynolds 70), Lennon (Okaidja 84), Grogan, Birrane

Referee: Oliver Moran

PHOTOS BY Sean’s Sport Photo –