The visitors fully deserved their 1-0 lead at the break, with the goal coming in the 22nd minute. A diagonal ball into the box from Michael Lee was flicked on by Anthony Griffiths and fell perfectly for Colm James at the far post.
Athlone were transformed in the second half however and their efforts bore fruit on 76 minutes, as Neil Harney headed home a corner from close range.
They also had the better opportunities to sneak a winner but Noel McGee was denied on two occasions, while Thomas Crawley of Longford had an injury-time chance that required Pat Jennings’ intervention.
ATHLONE TOWN: P Jennings; D Rushe, N Harney, B McCarthy, R Kenny; B O’Mahony; K Williamson, S Dunne, M McGoldrick, E Molloy; N McGee.
Subs: B Gill for E Molloy, I Sweeney for S Dunne, J Conroy for M McGoldrick.
LONGFORD TOWN: C Hyland; M Salmon, D Hope, C Deans, M Lee; C James, K Bermingham, C Walsh, A Kirby; T Crawley, A Griffiths.
Subs: J Duffy for K Bermingham, N O’Reilly for A Griffiths.
Referee: Sean Grant.