Bray gain parity with late sting on Athlone

Barker equalises for Wanderers as midland side get complacent at the end

Bray Wanderers’ goalscorer against Athlone Town Michael Barker.

Bray Wanderers’ goalscorer against Athlone Town Michael Barker.

 

Bray Wanderers 1 Athlone Town 1 An injury-time equaliser from Michael Barker gave Bray Wanderers their first league point in seven games as they managed to salvage a draw against Athlone Town at the Carlisle Grounds.

From the moment Alan Byrne scored Athlone’s goal – albeit via a touch off Dave Scully – from close range in the seventh minute, they were in control of proceedings and largely untroubled by the hosts who have been in freefall on the back of a winless run stretching back to early May.

Despite firing blanks throughout, Bray mustered the faculty in the closing stages to stage a late onslaught and were duly rewarded with a point against the bottom of the table side that could be a definitive one in their campaign.

Other than the late Bray pressure, the Athlone goalkeeper was largely untroubled throughout.

The midland side dropped increasingly deeper as the clocked ticked down and would have been forgiven for thinking the danger had cleared when the ball dropped at the feet of Barker 20 yards out, but he proved otherwise with a curling effort that gave Ryan Coulter no chance.

BRAY WANDERERS: Redmond; Barker, Cooney, O’Connor, Gorman; Scully (Hughes, 63), McGill, Zambra, Hanlon (Maloney, 75); Kelly (Cassidy, 65); Akinade.

ATHLONE TOWN: Coulter; Hayes, Prendergast, Byrne, Byrne; Mulroy (Doyle, 65), Foley, Dillon, O’Brien (Hughes, 82), Rusk (Brennan, 87); Gorman.

Referee: Paul McLaughlin

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