Tommy Barrett headed home a Kevin Williamson corner on 14 minutes. 10 minutes later, Stephen Relihan doubled the lead. Mervue’s Shane Keogh rattled the bar just before half-time. They failed to trouble Town again in a pedestrian second half until a 91st-minute headed goal from sub James Casserley. In the end keeper Pat Jennings saved Town after a flurry of late Mervue chances.
ATHLONE: Jennings; Rushe (Walsh), McCarthy, Barrett, Kenny; Relihan; Broughall (Guerins), Hughes, Gill, Williamson; Sherlock.
MERVUE UTD: O’Malley; McSweeney, Elwood, O’Rourke (Casserley), Ludden; Keogh, Lee (Varley), McEntee; Molloy, Hoban, Nkololo (King).
Referee: Andrew Mullally.