Harps beaten in Athlone

Tommy McMonagle and Aaron O'Hagan combine to stop Noel McGees advances on goal. Photo: Ashley Cahill.

FINN Harps slumped to their second defeat in three games as a second-half double from Noel McGee handed Athlone Town their second win in three and knocked Felix Healy and Peter Hutton’s side back down to earth following their high-octane win last week. 
The visitors arrived in the midlands on Friday night fresh from their seven-goal thriller against Mervue and off the back of an encouraging display away to Limerick.
However, they lacked a great deal of the enthusiasm and drive that underlined the promise of their previous two encounters as Athlone eventually got their reward for an energetic display.
Athlone captain McGee struck twice in the space of ten minutes midway through the second period as Mike Kerley’s side continued their bright start to the new campaign.
The Midlander’s, coming off the back of a narrow derby defeat at the hands of Longford, climbed to joint-second in the First Division table, while Harps were left to nurse a second straight defeat on the road following a thoroughly disappointing performance.
Harps did have their chances, though and had they converted them the outcome might’ve proven very different. Kevin McHugh had a shot saved brilliantly by Pat Jennings near the close of the first half, while Blaine Curtis missed an absolute sitter in the second period.
Athlone Town: P Jennings; J Woods, T Barrett, B McCarthy, R Kenny; D Coleman; G Broughall, J Hughes, M Walsh, M Sherlock; N McGee. Subs: K Williamson for Walsh (15 mins); P Danaher for Barrett (32 mins); N Scullion for Broughall (86 mins).
Finn Harps: C Gallagher; J Doherty, A O’Hagan, T McMonagle, C Coll; A Clarke, H Carlin, T McBride, S O’Donnell, B Curtis, K McHugh. Subs: C Greene for O’Donnell (half-time); Thomas Bonnar for Carlin (73 mins).
Referee: Adriano Reale (Kildare).

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