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SSE AIRTRICITY LEAGUE
FIRST DIVISION

ATHLONE TOWN v LONGFORD TOWN

Friday 25th May 2018
Athlone Town Stadium | 7.45pm

LONGFORD TOWN UNDERAGE FIXTURES

SSE Airtricity
Under 19 League

BOHEMIANS v
LONGFORD TOWN

Saturday 26th May
IT Blanchardstown | 12.00

SSE Airtricity
Under 17 League

LONGFORD TOWN v
BOHEMIANS

Sunday 27th May
City Calling Stadium | 14.00

SSE Airtricity CUP ROUND 1

LONGFORD TOWN V
MAYO LEAGUE

Wednesday 23rd May
City Calling Stadium | 19.30

Supporters’ Club Notes (20/05/2018)

Sun May 20th 2018

WEEKEND RESULTS

U19 SSE Airtricity League Northern Elite Division

Sunday May 20th
Longford Town 0-1 St. Patrick’s Athletic

U17 SSE Airtricity League Northern Elite Division

Sunday May 20th
Longford Town 3-3 St. Patrick’s Athletic

Daniel Oncea, Cian Cheevers and Eoin O’Neill with the Town goals.

U15 SSE Airtricity League Group 2

Sunday May 20th
Bray Wanderers 9-0 Longford Town

UPCOMING FIXTURES

U19 SSE Airtricity League Northern Elite Division

Saturday 26th May
Bohemians v Longford Town
Dalymount Park / Kick-off: 12.00

U17 SSE Airtricity League Northern Elite Division

Sunday 27th May
Longford Town v Bohemians
City Calling Stadium / Kick-off: 14.00

U15 SSE Airtricity League Group 2

Wednesday 23rd May
Longford Town v Mayo League
City Calling Stadium / Kick-off: 19.30

Saturday 26th May
Longford Town v Sligo Rovers
City Calling Stadium / Kick-off: 13.00

Supporters’ Club Notes (20/05/2018)

Sun May 20th 2018

POINT MADE

In the lead up to this clash against Shelbourne many were saying that we had to win it. With only a point dividing the teams, we knew it was going to be yet another tough one. However, on a dry and windy night in front of a decent crowd, it was the visitors who were in complete control for most of the opening half. The wind seemed to be playing a role with many of our clearances going straight over the stand side line. They had a decent sized travelling support who were just waiting for their opening score. Luckily we held out till the second period but, truth be told, we went in lucky to be on level terms.

Whatever was added to the tea during the break had the desired effect.We played with greater passion and commitment and though a slighter side, no one was found wanting.Those three precious points seemed to have evaporated when a once favourite former Town player rose unchallenged to head Shels in front. The corner that led to their opening goal resulted from two of our own errors and you just hoped that heads wouldn’t drop. Thankfully the opposite happened and the search for an invaluable equaliser became frantic. Dylan McGlade was tormenting the visitors with his silken skillsand at the same time encouraging louder support from the home support. Eventually after a super run, he unleashed a cracker to the left of the despairing Shels’ keeper, who until then had denied us time after time.

There were chances by both teams to grab all three points but the crossbar denied the visitors while Sam Verdon headed wide in front of an open goal. We were hoping for maximum points before the game but most were happy with a share of the spoils and the renewed fighting spirit shown in the second period.

ATHLONE AWAY

There’s sure to be a large Longford Town travelling support. heading down to Athlone this Friday. The game kicks of at 7.45pm on Friday May 25th in Athlone Town Stadium. Our away form of late has been impressive but there can no slip-up on Friday if we’re to maintain any interest in escaping from the lower division. Football can be a funny old sport but the last thing we want is for other teams to be laughing at us if we don’t produce the goods against our near neighbours. It’s only down the road so hopefully we’ll see and hear a good Longford support support the red and black brigade.

AODH’S AWARD

Aodh Dervin was presented with his Supporters’ Club trophy for being Player of the Month for April before last Saturday’s game. Not only has the young lad broken into the first team, he now has become a regular starter. For us golden oldies who remember Aodh as a youngster continuously honing his skills, seeing his rapid improvement being recognised as April’s Player of the Month was particularly satisfying. We wish Aodh all the best in his Leaving Cert next month and maybe it was ironic that a retired teacher from his school, Tom McGuinness who made the presentation.

DE VAN

Roddy Doyle made a bit of a stir when he wrote his novel The Van. However on a local sporting note, it’s Andy Dardis who is certainly who is creating one almighty stir with his fabulously painted van, DeVan. For those who have yet to see the creation, Andy’s van has had a giant club crest added to his already red van and all agree that it’s simply magnificent. It was certainly turning heads on a sun drenched day at the photo shoot outside Esquires last week. One elderly lady from outside the county was heard to remark that the owner must be very religious “driving round with a painting of the cathedral on its side”. In actual fact, it’s hoped that Andy will have whatever is the upcoming game adorning its side panels. As a piece of marketing, it’s simply superb. Happy motoring Andy in De Van.

FLOWER POWER

Red and black supporter Bobby Stocks certainly has green fingers. We’re constantly being complimented for our facilities in the City Calling Stadium and this May, we’re rightly proud of yet another colourful addition. Right round the concourse, Bobby has provided an array of multi coloured hanging baskets which are a joy to behold and certainly not something you’d see in too many stadia. Thanks Bobby, they’re truly a sight for sore sporting eyes.

SPREADING THE WORD

It was a busy week for the local youth organisation The Attic last week. On Saturday night they hosted Hype which saw teens for all over the land arrive in town for a music fest. But earlier in the week, they hosted our management team of Neale Fenn, Daire Doyle and Ger Mooney. The three very wise men were guests of Longford Comhairle na nOg which was an outstanding success. Fair play, once again, to out over-worked chairperson Avril Gilchrist for organising it all.

GET WELL WISHES

The Supporters’ Club would like to send get well wishes to Mel Devlin who is currently recovering in hospital following an operation. Mel, and indeed his entire family have been huge and loyal supporters of Longford Town for decades. Mel, we look forward to seeing back in the City Calling Stadium in the not too distant future. In the meantime, look after yourself – we miss you, we’re all thinking of you and wishing you well.


MATCH REPORT: Lively stalemate between Longford and Shels

Sun May 20th 2018

Match Report by Tony Ghee

Longford Town and Shelbourne played out a one-all draw in an entertaining SSE Airtricity League First Division encounter at the City Calling Stadium with David O’Sullivan and Dylan McGlade both scoring goals against their former clubs as both sides had to settle for a share of the spoils.

Shels dominated the opening half hour creating six good opportunities but the Town eventually worked their way back into the contest in the latter stages of the first half and produced a much better second-half performance.

In the eleventh minute, Evan’s firmly struck twenty-yard shot was palmed away by Town keeper Kelly and just a minute later, Kelly was called into action again as he saved a downward header from English after an excellent cross from Brown.

Two minutes later, another Shellbourne attack resulted in Hughe’s crisp low drive from the edge of the Town box producing another fine save from Kelly.

On eighteen minutes, the visitors created another chance when a sublime diagonal long pass from the left from Kavanagh picked out the unmarked English on the right edge of the box, but he blazed narrowly over the Longford bar.

Two minutes after that, Shels came at the Town defence again with a pin-point Hughes right-wing cross picking out Evans only for his volley to crash into the Town side-netting.

Shels came closest to taking a deserved lead on twenty-three minutes when Fitzgerald’s inswinging right-wing corner was missed by Town keeper Kelly, but he redeemed himself by superbly tipping over Mulcahy’s goalbound effort that seemed destined for the top corner.

After being outplayed for the opening half-hour, the Town suddenly woke up and played much better in the last fifteen minutes in which they created some good opportunities. In the twenty-ninth minute, a looping Noack-Hofmann header took a deflection off Shelbourne defender Prendergast and landed on top of the visitors net.

On thirty-five minutes, an Elworthy cross from the right was headed over by Verdon, but the best Town chance came two minutes later. A brilliant curling right-wing cross from McGlade found Verdon whose effort was blocked, the ball was then threaded into the path of Hollywood by McDonnell, but Hollywood’s strike was brilliantly pushed around the post by Shelbourne keeper Stacey.

The Town almost broke the deadlock two minutes after the resumption when O’Reilly’s shot from a McGlade free-kick was blocked on the line by a Shelbourne defender.

The Dubliners opened the scoring on fifty minutes when Longford Town’s all time record goalscorer, David O’Sullivan, who bagged a hat-trick against his former club in the earlier clash at Tolka Park, struck once again, as he lost his marker and timed his run to perfection to head home Fitzgerald’s corner.

Longford struck back with a sixty-first minute equaliser when a stray pass from English was intercepted by Town winger McGlade and he charged forward before drilling a low shot from just inside the box past Stacey into the Shels net.

De Town missed a glorious chance to take the lead on seventy-seven minutes when McGlade trickery on the left bamboozled two Shels defenders and his cross picked out the unmarked Verdon at the back post, but somehow, Verdon headed wide when it seemed easier to score.

A chipped cross from Town defender Noack-Hofmann a minute later almost ended up in the net, but the back-peddling Stacey managed to tip the ball over the bar.

The home side had a very lucky escape on eighty-six minutes when substitute Rooney crashed a shot off the underside of the Longford crossbar with the ball bouncing narrowly over inrushing striker O’Sullivan, but at the other end, the impressive McGlade almost won it for Longford in the last minute of normal time, however, Stacey produced a sharp save to keep his goal intact.

Next up for Neale Fenn’s charges is a Midlands Derby clash away to Athlone Town next Friday.

TEAM LINE-UPS

Longford Town: Kelly, Elworthy, McDonnell, O’Reilly, Noack-Hofmann, Hopkins, Hollywood, Dervin, McGlade, Verdon, Mulhall.
Substitutes: Meenan for Hollywood (62 minutes), Galvin for Hopkins (62 minutes), Byrne for Mulhall (90 minutes).

Shelbourne: Stacey, Brown, Mulcahy, Prendergast, Fitzgerald, English, Byrne, Hughes, Evans, Kavanagh, O’Sullivan.
Substitutes: Rooney for Kavanagh (67 minutes), Boyne for Hughes (85 minutes).


A share of the spoils at City Calling Stadium versus Shelbourne

Sun May 20th 2018

Pictures by Tiernan Dolan

Pictures from our clash with Shelbourne at City Calling Stadium, which finished 1-1.


Dylan McGlade’s vital equalising goal (and celebrations) v Shelbourne at City Calling Stadium last night.



Striving for perfection in an imperfect world – The 2018 season so far

Thu May 17th 2018

Article by Kieran Burke

Ahead of Saturday night’s potentially season defining matchup between Longford Town FC and Shelbourne at the City Calling Stadium, LTFC.ie reporter, Kieran Burke looks back on “De Town’s” 2018 campaign to date and how missed opportunities have led to a winner takes all tie between Longford and the “Reds” this weekend.  

Longford Town 2-2 Cobh Ramblers 

Rarely gifted an opening day home tie in recent years, Longford Town fans long winter wait to see their totally new look side in action finally came to an end at the end of February, as 2017 runners up, Cobh Ramblers made the long trip to the Midlands for an intriguing week one clash.  

Two nil up after forty-three minutes and cruising, nobody could have envisaged Neale Fenn’s side leaving the Strokestown Road with anything less than maximum points but a soft goal from a set-piece and a late defensive error from debutant, Mick McDonnell, who had been superb throughout his first ever League of Ireland game, meant the Rams got out of jail and headed back to the Island with a share of the spoils.  

Longford Town 3-0 Wexford FC 

The Longford faithful were truly spoiled by the FAI’s fixtures machine at the start of this season with back to back home ties for Neale Fenn’s men. Last season’s second bottom side Wexford FC came to Town full of confidence after an opening day away victory over a highly fancied Cabinteely side and in truth Damien Locke’s charges caused “De Town” far more issues than the hosts would have liked on the night.  

Chris Mulhall finally broke the Wexford resistance after thirty-seven minutes but the south-east based side had a couple of opportunities on the break prior to Mulhall’s opener as Neale Fenn’s famous high line tactics gave the paying public a few heart palpitations throughout.  

However, when Mulhall grabbed his and Longford’s second with just ten minutes left on the clock, any thoughts of back to back home slipups were now firmly at the back of Town fans minds. In fact, it got even better five minutes later when the returning Dylan McGlade weaved his magic to put Longford three nil up, securing all three points in typical McGlade fashion.  

Shelbourne 3-2 Longford Town 

Having claimed a first win of the campaign just six days previous against a much-improved Wexford FC from last season, Longford Town fans headed to Tolka Park in confident mood as club legend, Davy O’Sullivan got set to reacquaint himself with the supporters he had served so well for five seasons. However, it would be that man O’Sullivan who quickly became the Longford Town villain as “Sully” bagged a hat-trick to down “De Town” in one of the games of the season in either division.  

Miscontrol off a short Longford goal-kick allowed O’Sullivan to pounce on thirteen-minutes as Sam Verdon attempted to make up for his initial mistake with a last-gasp challenge inside the area and although the former St.Pat’s man clearly won the ball, referee David Keeler pointed to the spot before O’Sullivan tucked it away to open the scoring on the night.  

Verdon deservedly got Longford back on level terms just before the break as he linked up wonderfully with Mulhall on the edge of the area before curling a delicate effort past veteran goalkeeper, Dean Delaney. Just moments later, Verdon riffled a vicious strike off the Shels crossbar to leave the hosts delighted with parity at half-time.  

Everyone expected Longford to kick on and start the second half like they ended the first but the fiery nature of the game seemed to affect Neale Fenn’s players, who uncharacteristically started to play very long balls into the Shelbourne defence, which were easily defended in all honesty.    

O’Sullivan put Owen Heary’s team ahead again on seventy-two minutes as the former Irish amateur international found himself in between Town’s two centre-halfs before placing a headed effort past the on-rushing Mick Kelly.  

A twenty-two-man brawl was then to follow as Dylan McGlade let his emotions get the better of him, resulting in a straight red card but despite that Sam Verdon popped up YET AGAIN for De Town to rifle one through a packed penalty area and secure what everyone thought would be a deserved share of the spoils.  

However, it was just one of those nights when nothing went Longford’s way and deep into second-half stoppage time, Peter Hopkins made contact with a Shels opponent inside the eighteen-yard box and as a result David O’Sullivan stepped up to sink De Town and trigger wild celebrations with the home fans.  

Longford Town 5-1 Athlone Town 

Following the trauma of events in Tolka Park, Longford would have been delighted to return to home soil and face local rivals, Athlone Town in the first Midlands derby of the season. Unbeaten against the Westmeath club in 2017, Longford’s chances were greatly increased given Athlone’s horrendous start to the campaign, which included facing Cabinteely the week previous without a goalkeeper due to registration issues.  

The now departed Athlone manager, Aaron Callaghan managed to draft in Shaun O’Donnell to play between the posts against Longford and in truth only for him it would have been a much heavier defeat for the leagues bottom side.  

Goals from Chris Mulhall (x2), Dean Byrne (x2) and Evan Galvin put the gloss on an extremely comfortable Longford win, despite the fact Rory McCullough had given Athlone the lead thanks to a twenty-five-yard wondergoal just seconds into the first half!  

Notably, this was Aodh Dervin’s first start of the season for Longford Town and given the local midfielders incredible performances since then, this may be a game Town fans look back on with great pride in many years down the line.  

Galway United 0-0 Longford Town 

A first shut-out of the season for Neale Fenn’s charges but a fantastic performance away from home against a Galway side that many had tipped for league title success this season.  

Having been downed by David O’Sullivan just a fortnight ago, many Town fans feared the powers of another ex-Red & Black man as Ryan Connolly lined out with the captain’s armband for the hosts. However, even Galway United supporters would leave Eamonn Deacy Park that night muttering the name of Aodh Dervin, who showed despite his small stature was more than capable of mixing it with full-time professionals.  

Three glorious chances went a begging for Longford in the second-half, which meant a share of the spoils would have to do Neale Fenn’s side, but the positives of the overall team performance proved invaluable in terms of restoring the team’s confidence on the road.  

Photo: Ken Keenan Photography

Longford Town 3-0 Cabinteely 

Similarly, to the three nil home win against Wexford FC, Longford Town were not at their free flowing best despite a compressive score line to suggest otherwise against Pat Devlin’s Cabinteely.  

Goals from Shane Elworthy, Dean Byrne and Peter Hopkins gave De Town yet another home win but had Cabinteely been sharper in front of goal on the night, it could have been a much more difficult night at the office for Fenn and co. 

Drogheda United 1-1 Longford Town 

Yet more late heartbreak for Longford on the road as Ciaran Kelly’s ninety-fifth minute strike secured Drogheda United an unwarranted piece of the pie at United Park.  

A master class midfield performance from Aodh Dervin helped Longford gain a stranglehold on proceedings at the County Louth venue and when Dean Byrne bagged a twenty-yard screamer on the hour mark, Longford looked likely to go and get a second as Drogheda left themselves exposed to the counter attack time after time.  

However, the away side somehow failed to grab that killer goal and when United were awarded a free-kick with virtually the last attack of the match, Ciaran Kelly found himself on the end of a loose ball before hitting the sweetest of left-footed volleys into the bottom corner to send the small home crowd into raptures.  

As disappointing as the result was, Neale Fenn’s players again proved their ability to mix it with the very best in the division and will be eager to re-write this result when the sides meet next.  

Longford Town 0-2 UCD  

 In virtually every league game this season, Longford Town have looked just as good if not better than the vast majority of opponents faced. However, not even the most die-hard Longfordian could have argued with the result on the night when UCD AFC came to the City Calling Stadium earlier this season.  

A second half double from the division’s top marksman, Georgie Kelly, gave Collie O’Neill’s table toppers a totally deserved away win and for what it’s worth, they did it in style. Dominating possession, interlinking even under a high press from the hosts and most importantly of all taking the chances when they eventually came their way, it’s going to take a very good side to topple UCD in 2018.   

Longford Town 1-2 Finn Harps 

Back to back home defeats for the first time this season but unlike the UCD game a week previous, you would have found very few fans on either side saying Longford Town deserved to lose this one.  

Despite falling behind early to a fine, yet far too easy, strike from Mark Coyle, the hosts soon regained their composure on the ball, despite some questionable Harps tackles, to create chance after chance at the City Calling Stadium.  

A brilliant long-range effort from Dylan McGlade gave Longford the impetuous going into the second half but a combination of poor finishing and just sheer bad luck meant “De Town” went into stoppage time still desperately searching for a late winner.   

However, a last-action of the game mistake from goalkeeper, Mick Kelly meant it was in fact the Donegal outfit who grabbed a late triumph over the Town, to the sheer amazement of everyone in the ground.  

Given the nature of Kelly’s error, the reaction shown since by the former Cabinteely ‘keeper must be commended as the giant between the posts has not only continued to look a good shot-stopper but his distribution is right up there with any goalkeeper in either division.  

Cobh Ramblers 0-1 Longford Town 

The pressure was now well and truly on Neale Fenn and his players to make the long journey to Cobh and pick up a much needed three points off the back of two home defeats on the bounce. With the sides at the top showing no sign of letting up, it was crucial for the Midlands outfit to keep in touch with the promotion places.  

And that’s exactly what Longford did thanks to an early Sam Verdon strike at a difficult St.Colman’s Park venue. With chances at a premium, there was always a fear one goal would never be enough but perhaps this was exactly the test Longford needed after some game management issues in the weeks previous as Mick Kelly and his back four held out for a crucial clean sheet on the road.  

Wexford FC 0-2 Longford Town 

Having made two grueling trips to Cobh in the space of three days, due to League Cup commitments, there were some concerns among the Town faithful as to the possible effects it may have on Neale Fenn’s playing staff ahead of another difficult trip to Wexford in the First Division.  

Despite a far from ideal playing surface, something this possession obsessed Longford Town team have had to contend with in the second tier this season, it was a comfortable night’s work for the promotion hopefuls as goals either side of the break by Jamie Hollywood and Chris Mulhall gained the Midlanders all three points.  

Hollywood’s first-half strike will surely be a goal of the season contender and the fact the former Drogheda man has made such an impact in place of the injured Aodh Dervin in recent weeks shows the strength and depth in this Longford Town squad.  

The general feeling around the Town at present is with just one or two quality summer additions, this Longford squad have a real chance of gaining promotion back to the Premier Division, while most pleasing off all is the fact Neale Fenn and his coaching staff are demanding that goal is achieved in the right fashion with huge importance placed on the team’s style of play, fitness levels and ultimate professionalism both on and off the pitch.  

If you are yet to take in a Town game this season, this Saturday’s home league tie with Owen Heary’s Shelbourne is the perfect opportunity to do so. Sharing five goals, two red cards and tones of controversy last time out, Saturday’s match up has the potential to be one of the games of the season, while sunshine is also promised. Here’s hoping lady luck will be shinning on the Red & Black this time around. 

TOP SCORER: Chris Mulhall (6)  

TOP PERFORMER: Aodh Dervin – Local lad Dervin has shown leadership and battling qualities years beyond his youthfulness and it’s no surprise to hear his name being mentioned as a potential Ireland star of the future, following Graham Burke’s call up by Martin O’Neill earlier this week.  

On the verge of returning from a nasty ankle injury sustained at home to Finn Harps recently, Dervin is sure to make up for lost time given the explosive nature of his play and will be a key asset to Neale Fenn for the remainder of the campaign.  

BEST NEWCOMER: Mick McDonnell – This has been McDonnell’s first ever season in League of Ireland football, having arrived from Newbridge Town in pre-season and quite simply the towering centre-half has been a revelation.    

Quickly forming a rock-solid partnership alongside the excellent Daniel O’Reilly, McDonnell has shown superb character to bounce back from a desperately unlucky mistake on his debut at home to Cobh Ramblers. In fact, a number of Fenn’s charges have reacted similarly to errors of their own this season, such as goalkeeper Mick Kelly, whose mistake against Finn Harps proved costly and Sam Verdon, who’s poor touch against Shelbourne allowed Davy O’Sullivan to open his account on the night, and that must be hugely pleasing for the rookie Town boss, who is clearly getting 110% effort and commitment from his players each and every week.  

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