Philip Gorman held his nerve from the spot in added-time to rescue a point for Athlone Town at Fahy’s Field on Friday.
A Stephen Walsh brace looked to have given the home side their fourth win of the campaign – despite the defender also scoring a first-half own goal – but Gorman ensured a point headed to the midlands after Barry Clancy was fouled late on in the Galway venue.
After an enterprising start from the home side, Roddy Collins’ side took the lead when Walsh turned Gorman’s cross into his own net after just 24 minutes, but two minutes later he levelled matters when his shot from the edge of the box took a slight deflection past Paul Skinner.
The sides went in level 1-1 at the break, but Walsh gave Johnny Glynn’s side the lead in the 64th minute with a screaming effort from distance, which also took the slightest of knicks off an Athlone Town defender.
His strike looked to have give all three points to the home side but late on Ray Matthews awarded the visitors the spot kick, much to the annoyance of the home fans, after Michael McSweeney’s tackle on Clancy looked to have been well timed and Gorman made no mistake from 12 yards.
Mervue United: O’Donoghue; Ludden, McSweeney, Walsh, Woods; Curran, King, Varley, Molloy; Lavelle (Shanahan 78), Manning.
Athlone Town: Skinner; R Collins, A Collins, Clarke, Clancy; Sweeney, Hughes, Coughlan (Dixon 78), Coombes (Conroy 85); Gorman, Broughall.