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Kerry FC v Athlone Town photo gallery - April 19 2024

Match Report – Kerry FC v Athlone Town



On the hunt for nine games unbeaten, Kerry FC were back at home on Friday night as they took on Athlone Town for the first time this season at Mounthawk Park. The only game between the two this season was the beginning of last month when the sides drew one all with goals from Dylan Hand and a screamer from Daniel Okwute. Kerry FC’s last home game was a historic one as the side recorded their first-ever League of Ireland home win beating Longford Town 3-0.

Last week they drew 0-0 away to Treaty United in a game where they easily could have won with most chances in the second half coming the way of the Kingdom but unfortunately nothing was landed, and it was a game Kerry felt annoyed not to be coming away with all three points.

Athlone Town came into the game without an away win this season so the wanted to put that right this week. A win at home last weekend against Finn Harps put the Town in good spirits as they made the trip down to Tralee. Nathan Gleeson returned to the matchday squad on Friday after a lengthy spell on the side-lines. Sean McGrath also returned to the starting eleven after missing last week’s Treaty United game. He returns after his man of the match performance in that game against Longford Town.

First Half
Kerry FC started the game very well and tested Athlone keeper Enda Minogue on a couple of occasions in the opening six minutes. Kennedy Amechi got on the end of a long ball over the top and dinked it over Minogue before the linesman put his flag up. Just four minutes later Ryan Kelliher created a great chance for himself as he controlled the ball fantastically with a couple of flicks over the oncoming defence. He took on a half volley twenty-two yards from goal, but Minogue got down well to claim the ball. The shot unfortunately was straight at the Athlone Town shot stopper, but nothing could be taken away from the sheer persistence and skill on show from Ryan to get Kerry their first big chance of the evening.

Enda Minogue was called into action again as he tipped a Sean McGrath shot over the crossbar and out for a corner. Kerry FC fans feared it would be two great goalkeeping performances in a row against them and were desperate to see one of these chances hit the back of the net. McGrath saw himself in space and aimed for the top right corner, but his great effort was well matched by Athlone’s number one.

Kerry FC, who were the better team in the opening half an hour, received their reward in the nineteenth minute when they were awarded a penalty for an Aaron Connolly handball inside the area. The ball bobbled a couple of times inside the area and unluckily for Connolly made clear contact with his hand which Ian O’Keefe had no hesitation in penalising. Kennedy Amechi stepped up and calmly slotted the ball hole into the bottom left corner to give Kerry a well-deserved lead.

Kerry nearly doubled their lead three minutes later when Ryan Kelliher went on another great run which saw him get around the goalkeeper. Unfortunately, the angle tightened too much, and he was only able to put the ball into the side netting. A real let off for Athlone who were feeling the oncoming and fast never-ending Kerry FC pressure.

Athlone started to get back into the game with ten or so minutes remaining in the half, but nothing was landing in dangerous areas for them. They needed a slice of luck to break down the Kerry FC defence which they eventually got in the two remaining minutes of the opening forty-five when Ruben Ferreira drew the sides level. A low cross into the box on the right side was unfortunately missed and not cleared by Samuel Aladesanusi who’s half clearance landed to the feet of Ferreira who was composed and buried the opportunity into the bottom left corner. It was a real kick in the teeth for Kerry who would have much preferred to go in at half time leading, but that bit of luck was not with them in the evening’s proceeding.

Second Half
Daire McCarthy nearly headed Kerry FC back in front a minute into the second half after a corner reached Andy Spain just outside the six-yard box who headed towards McCarthy but unfortunately McCarthy’s header from close range could not be directed on target. Sean McGrath had another shot from distance to test the waters again with Minogue but this time it did not have enough on it to test him. Kerry FC took a back foot on the game from this time as Athlone really stepped up a gear to try and get themselves in front.

In the sixty-second minute the visitors did just that as Carl Mujaguzi scored and unbelievable acrobatic goal. A corner was swung into the box, headed away from Sean O’Connell, and reached Mujaguzi who had no right to try the shoot from there, but he did just that and bagged full reward for the pure audaciousness of the effort.

Mujaguzi was feeling confidence after the earlier goal and hit the post seventeen minutes later. He took the ball down with composure on the edge of the area before aiming for the left side of the goal. Thankfully for Kerry it did not double the Athlone lead as it bounced back off the post and into the hands of Antonio Tuta.

Kerry had a few more free kicks in good areas but did not trouble Athlone in any way as the game finished with a 2-1 win for the away side. Kerry FC’s eight game unbeaten run was ended by an Athlone side who won their first away game of the season. Kerry looked to lose steam at the start of the second half and was conveyed in the performance. A great run ended but a great chance to bounce back as they visit the Carlisle Grounds and Bray Wanderers next week.

Kerry FC Team: 1. Antonio Tuta, 15. Kevin Williams, 5. Andy Spain (C), 18. Samuel Aladesanusi, 3. Sean O’Connell, 8. Ronan Teahan, 21. Daire McCarthy, 7. Sean McGrath, 12. Kennedy Amechi (Goal 19’ Pen), 11. Daniel Okwute, 9. Ryan Kelliher.

Subs: Aaron O’Sullivan, Jack Kavanagh, Ethan Kos, Nathan Gleeson, Steven Healy, Cian Brosnan, Victor Udeze, Graham O’Reilly, Evison Rramani.

Athlone Town Team: 1. Enda Minogue, 3. Jarlath Jones, 5. Daniel McKenna, 7. Ruben Manuel Oliveria Ferreira (Goal ’43), 8. Aaron Connolly, 9. Dean Ebbe, 10. Jamar Campion-Hinds, 12. Carl Mujaguzi (Goal ’62), 18. Oisin Duffy (C), 22. Brian Torre, Matthew Leal.

Subs: Andrew Stuart Trainor, Shaun O’Donnell, Amardo Akeem Oakley, Shane Forbes, Divine Izekor, Gideon Tetteh, Roscoe Rubinstein, Brendan Lauder, Ciaran Nolan.