Eamon Zayed’s spectacular strike helps Shamrock Rovers go top of the table

Libya international’s sublime volley breaks stubborn Athlone’s resistance

Graham Rusk of Athlone contests an aerial ball with Kieran Marty Waters and Luke Byrne of Shamrock Rovers during the Premier League  clash at Tallaght Stadium. Photo: Donall Farmer/Inpho

Graham Rusk of Athlone contests an aerial ball with Kieran Marty Waters and Luke Byrne of Shamrock Rovers during the Premier League clash at Tallaght Stadium. Photo: Donall Farmer/Inpho

 

Shamrock Rovers 1 Athlone Town 0

Eamon Zayed hopes his spectacular winner at Tallaght Stadium on Saturday night has reiterated his value to Shamrock Rovers.

The 30-year-old Libya international struck on 66 minutes to score his third league goal of the season with a sublime diagonal volley after Ronan Finn had picked him out with a fine ball over the top. The win puts Rovers top of the table.

Though the goal was worthy of winning any match, manager Trevor Croly will be disappointed that his side struggled to press home their utter dominance in a one-side encounter.

Ciaran Kilduff should have also scored on 81 minutes; Gary McCabe hit a post with a free kick while Marty Waters was guilty of a bad double miss in the first half.

Athlone almost snatched an unlikely point in stoppage time when Rovers’ keeper Barry Murphy did well to punch away a free kick from substitute Ian Sweeney.

It’s been a trying campaign for Zayed who has started just three league games.

“It’s frustrating watching. I want to play. I need to play. I’m at an age now where I need to play, so we’ll see.”

In a similar situation last season, Kilduff went on loan to Cork City and scored 11 goals in 14 games to revitalise his career.

On whether he will perhaps seek a move in the July window, Zayed said. “I need to play. He knows that himself, Trevor. I’ve chatted to him about it before. At the moment I can’t do anything except when I do get on to try and take my chance. We’re top of the league. From a team perspective it’s going well . .

“I’m out of contract here at the end of the season. So for me to keep playing professional football, I need to be playing regularly and scoring goals regularly to secure a contract next year,” he added.
SHAMROCK ROVERS: Murphy; Madden, Cornwall, McGuinness, Byrne; Brennan (Zayed, 61 mins), McPhail; McCabe, Finn, Waters (S O’Connor, 61 mins); Kilduff.
ATHLONE TOWN: Skinner; Quigley (McMahon, 82 mins), Prendergast, D. Brennan (Marks, 71 mins) Clancy; A Byrne; Rusk, Dillon, O’Brien, S. Brennan (Sweeney, 82 mins); Gorman.
Referee: Dave McKeon (Dublin).

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