Longford Town 3 - 0 GUST
Report by: Rachael McKeon
On Wednesday night last the Longford Town U19’s made their second trip to Galway in just over a week as they travelled to the Moynavilla FC grounds in Headford to take on GUST FC. This basement battle of the Southern Division started at a hectic pace with some hard hitting tackles and had somewhat of a cup tie feel to the whole occasion.There was a large and vocal home support along with a few hard core travelling Town fans in attendance and both sets of fans were treated to a rip roaring contest from start to finish. The first attack of note fell to the home side when a kick out by Town keeper David McNamara fell short to a Galway striker but as he bore down on goal McNamara was out quickly to make amends and smother the ball at the striker’s feet. Minutes later McNamara made a great save once again and quickly released the ball to centre half David Mackey who in turn played a wonderful ball forward to Boni Odomene who took it in his stride and shot towards goal but for the GUST keeper to make good save. Both teams were now starting to play some good attacking football on what was a bumpy surface. With 23 minutes on the clock the GUST No.10 had a snap shot from the edge of the box but yet again McNamara was alert and caught the ball just under the crossbar. Almost immediately Brian McNamara had a great chance to open the scoring up the other end for the visitors when he shot from just inside the box but the home side’s keeper was also alert and made a fine save. On the half hour mark the GUST No.9 had a shot from the edge of the box and this time had Town keeper McNamara beaten but right full back Sean Duarte was on hand to block the shot and clear the ball to safety. Five minutes later the dead lock was broken when Longford midfielder Dean Murphy was taken down in the box and the referee awarded a penalty. The Town debutant brushed himself off and slotted home past the GUST keeper to open the scoring for the visitors. As the half came to an end the Galway side were pushing for an equaliser and just before the whistle almost found one when the ball fell to their striker just inside the Town box following a corner kick. The striker unleashed his shot and for a second time had Town shot stopper McNamara beaten only to find Duarte on the post once again to avert the danger and send his side in deservedly one nil up at the break.
As the second half got underway the intent of the away side was clear as they pushed forward and constantly pressurised the home sides defence. On 59 minutes all their pressure was to pay off when Murphy rose highest from a corner to head home and double his side’s lead, with his second goal of the night. With twenty minutes remaining Town winger Michael James made his way into the box and was unlucky to see his shot ricochet off a defender and go just narrowly wide. At this point the Galway management changed their formation as they went in search of a goal to resurrect their chance of getting something out of the game. As the home side pushed forward they began to leave gaps at the back and with ten minutes remaining substitute Paul Kennedy found himself one on one with the GUST keeper but as he chipped the ball over the out coming keeper, he unfortunately also cleared the crossbar. Within five minutes however he found himself in the same situation once more and this time made no mistake as he slotted the ball to the keeper’s right hand side and into the bottom corner of the GUST net. In injury time Town captain Aaron Brilly almost had a fourth for his side when he shot from the edge of the box but the GUST keeper was equal to his effort on this occasion. Following this the referee blew the full time whistle to hand the Longford side their first win of the season and also their first clean sheet.
With this result they are now just one point behind the GUST side and have two games in hand as on Sunday night last GUST finished off their campaign with a 5-1 defeat to the newly crowned League winners Athlone Town. The two remaining games for Longford are away to third from bottom side Wexford Youths on Sunday next at 2pm in Ferrycarrig Park and the following Friday evening the 8th of February at home to Limerick FC in Flancare Park at 8pm. With that being the final game of the season why not come out and support the young hard working Town team and take the opportunity to see the three players who have progressed to the club’s First team squad for the forthcoming Airtricity League season. These players are Defender Steven Boateng, Midfielder and U19 Captain Aaron Brilly and Striker Boni Odomene. As this is a very young U19 Town side with a huge amount of talent it would be hoped to see even more of these young players make the step up to the Club’s senior ranks in the near future.
Longford Town: David McNamara, Sean Duarte, David Mackey, Steven Boateng, Cormac Kennedy, Aaron Brilly(c), Michael James, Ryan Carberry, Dean Murphy, Brian McNamara, Boni Odomene.
Subs: John Reed for Odomene (72mins), Paul Kennedy for Brian McNamara (77mins), Dean Cosgrave for James (88mins).