Joe Woods’ sublime chip 21 minutes from time sent Athlone Town level at the top of the Airtricity First Division table for 24 hours at least, leaving 10-man Mervue searching for their first point.
Johnny Glynn’s side will wonder how they managed to throw away control of this game, as striker Peter Dravins missed four first-half chances to give Mervue United a well deserved lead.
But Athlone ’keeper Pat Jennings was in inspired form and three times he denied the big striker with fine saves in a scoreless first-half.
And to compound their bad form in front of goal the home side had skipper Mike Elwood red-carded for a clash with Garvan Broughhall three minutes before the break as Woods’ chip from distance sealed the win.
MERVUE UNITED: Forde; Casserly, Elwood, Walsh, Farrell; Hoban (Collins, 76), Lee (Connolly, 90), Kelly, Nkololo; Dravins (Keogh, 57), Molloy.
ATHLONE TOWN: Jennings; Woods, Danaher, McCarthy, Kenny; Coleman, Williamson, Hughes; Broughall (Feeney, 55) (Guerins, 84), McGee, Sherlock.
Referee: Ray Matthews.
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