Treaty United picked up a valuable three points with a 1-0 victory over Athlone Town at the Markets Field on Friday night. A goal midway through the first half from captain Jack Lynch resulted in the home side moving up to joint 4th position in the table.
Tommy Barrett made two changes to the side from last week’s 3-2 defeat to UCD with Dean George and Callum McNamara dropping out for the returning duo of Sean Guerins and Anthony O’Donnell. As a result, Jack Lynch and Clyde O’Connell moved to central midfield.
It was the visitors who fashioned the first opening of the game as striker Stephen Meaney picked up possession on the edge of the box before turning and striking wide. Adrian Carberry’s side looked bright in the opening exchanges and a clever flick from James Doona into the path of Kurtis Byrne resulted in the former Dundalk man firing over Tadgh Ryan’s crossbar.
At this point, Treaty were growing into the game and their first opening arrived when a clever pass from Kieran Hanlon set Sean McSweeney away but following some clever work from the attacker, his lob over Schlingermann was too high.
Just three minutes later, the opening goal arrived. Speaking to Sporting Limerick after the game, Lynch commented that his side felt Athlone were susceptible to late runs into the box and it was the captain who ran off his marker and was superbly picked out by McSweeney before coolly slotting home to score his first goal in Airtricity League.
Hanlon attempted to double the lead for the Markets Field outfit but his effort was tipped away by Schlingermann. The Midlanders created two chances to equalise before the half-time whistle as Meaney flashed a shot wide from the exact same position as previously and Derek Daly’s corner was headed wide by Dylan Hand.
In a scrappier second half where Treaty were comfortable in defence, McSweeney had a big chance to score but he headed over from Marc Ludden’s cross. The lively Joel Coustrain was introduced in place of Hanlon and caused panic in the visitors defence before teeing up Lynch but the captain’s shot was saved.
The biggest moment of the game arrived with 15 minutes remaining as Ryan pulled off a superb save to deny substitute Shane Barnes from close range. It proved to be the last big opening that Athlone created as a defence marshalled by the returning O’Donnell and Guerins, ensured that Treaty’s impressive start to the season continued.
The Markets Field has proved a fruitful venue for Tommy Barrett’s men with 10 points picked up from a possible 12 so far which gives Treaty the best home record in the division so far. They travel to Stradbrook next Friday evening to face Cabinteely.
Treaty United: Tadgh Ryan, Charlie Fleming, Sean Guerins, Anthony O’Donnell, Marc Ludden, Jack Lynch, Clyde O’Connell, Sean McSweeney (Callum McNamara), Ed McCarthy (William Armshaw), Matt Keane (Matt McKevitt), Kieran Hanlon (Joel Coustrain)
Athlone Town: Michael Schlingermann, Tumelo Tlou (Jack Reynolds), Killian Cantwell, Dylan Hand, Derek Daly, Daniel McKenna, Jamie Hollywood, Kurtis Byrne, Adam Wixted, James Doona, Stephen Meaney (Shane Barnes)