The League of Ireland has experienced quite the boom so far this season. Quite a few teams across both divisions have seen their attendances increase significantly in comparison to years gone by, a welcome development as the league attempts to branch out and bring in new supporters.
Many of those who are following the league for the first time will be pleasantly surprised by the quality on show. There is certainly no shortage of talent available at the moment, with some moments of real quality already produced at this early stage in the campaign.
In saying that, this might well have topped any moments of brilliance that you might see in the months ahead.
Athlone Town player almost scores hilarious own goal
Athlone Town have had a decent start to their First Division campaign. Having been one of the weaker sides in the league in 2022, they had started this year with three wins and a draw from their opening six league games.
Unfortunately they were unable to build on that record last night, falling to a disappointing 3-1 defeat at home to Galway United despite having taken the lead in the first half.
While four goals were scored in the game, the most memorable moment might have come from a near miss by one of the Athlone Town players.
With half an hour gone in the game, defender Noah Van Geenen came within inches of scoring a hilarious own goal, kicking the ball off his own face before it rebounded onto the crossbar. Despite a brief scramble in the box, the ball would somehow stay out of the net.
For those too lazy… https://t.co/8rviJNIjj5 pic.twitter.com/w5dB87NhWV
— Julian Canny (@juliancanny) April 1, 2023
Athlone Town would actually take the lead a few minutes after this via Frantz Pierrot, although Galway would run out as 3-1 winners after goals from David Hurley (x2) and Stephen Walsh.
The result sees the westerners cement their position at the top of the league, holding a seven-point advantage over second-placed Cobh Ramblers. As for Athlone, they sit in fifth and will be hoping to maintain a challenge for the play-off places in the months ahead.