Williams hat-trick sinks Athlone

Bray Wanderers 3 Athlone Town 0

Carlisle Grounds, First Division, 26 July 2019

Dean Williams opens the scoring

Wanderers kept alive their outside hopes of reaching the First division promotion play offs thanks to a second half hat trick from Dean Williams.

Wanderers made three changes to the starting team from last week’s draw away to Galway. Paul Keegan and Killian Cantwell both returned from suspension while Luke Nolan also came into the starting team in place of Hugh Douglas (suspended), Dylan Barnett (injured) and Darragh Gibbons.

Sean Heaney headed wide at the back post following a cross on the left from Derek Daly on nine minutes. Five minutes later, Luke Nolan’s cross from the right was headed narrowly wide by John Martin. Brandon McCann played in Philip Gannon on 24 minutes, but the midfielder snatched his shot wide. Daly then created another chance on the left, this time McCann headed wide from the cross.

Brandon McCann shoots on goal

Despite having plenty of possession Wanderers never really threated the Athlone goal in the first half while Sava wasn’t tested either.

On 56 minutes, Cantwell found Nolan on the right and his low cross was poked home by Dean Williams at the near post for his first goal for the Seagulls against his former club.

Luke Nolan’s throw in found Williams in the 63rd minute and he half volleyed past Myles to double the lead for the hosts. Williams went close to completing his hat trick when he ran onto a through-ball, but Myles got a hand to it to turn it out for a corner.

Williams completed his hat trick four minutes from time. Jake Ellis did well on the right wing and his low cross found Williams who blasted to the roof of the net.

Match ball for Dean Williams

Bray Wanderers: 1 Gabriel Sava; 22 Luke Nolan, 4 Killian Cantwell, 5 Sean Heaney, 11 Derek Daly; 12 John Martin, 6 Paul Keegan, 8 Philip Gannon, 19 Brandon McCann; 10 Dylan McGlade, 18 Dean Williams
Subs: 14 Jake Ellis (for Gannon 66), 15 Darragh Gibbons, 16 Adam Hayden (gk), 17 Luka Lovic (for McCann 84), 20 Dylan Thornton (for Martin 80), 29 Conor Behan

Athlone Town: 1 Aaron Myles; 8 Aaron Brilly, 14 Sean Fitzpatrick, 26 Paddy Kelly, 17 John Morgan; 7 Darren Meenan, 10 Kealan Dillon, 24 Rhys Gorman, 6 Shane Dunne, 15 Janabi Amour; 21 Jean-Yves Poame
Subs: 2 Dean O’Shea, 3 Dean Casey, 9 Nika Kalandarshvili (for Dillon 70, 18 Jamie Hamilton (for Amour 59), 19 Ollie Hamzat, 25 Evan Pierce (for Poame 52), 30 Gargar Ta-Uway (gk).

Referee: Tomas Connolly

Match Report: Michael Duffy

Pictures: Peter Minogue