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Town settle for share of the spoils v Students

Sun Sep 17th 2017

Match Report by Tony Ghee

Longford Town 1-1 UCD

Longford Town scorer: (O’Sullivan, pen, 22)
UCD scorer: (Manley 70)

Despite dominating the majority of the contest, Longford Town had to settle for a share of the spoils at the City Calling Stadium as they drew one all with third placed UCD, a result that keeps the students six points clear of the Town and virtually assures them of a top three finish.

The visitors created the first two chances of the contest on twelve and thirteen minutes. Firstly, a right-wing cross from Manley picked out centre-half Scales, but his header was well saved by Town keeper Brady. A minute later, UCD striker Georgie Kelly cut in from the right and unleashed a shot from a tight angle that hit the side netting.

Somewhat against the run of play, Longford took the lead on twenty-two minutes when UCD defender Maxi Kouogun handled inside the box and Town striker Davy O’Sullivan slotted home the penalty for his 80th competitive goal for the ‘Red and Black’.

Both O’Sullivan and Kehoe came close to extending the Town’s advantage as they turned the screw on the visitors but they had to settle for a one goal interval lead.

Just after the break, a long ball over the top of the Town defence put in striker Kelly one-on-one with Town keeper Brady with Brady producing an excellent save to keep his goal intact.

A stunning four-man move on the hour mark almost produced a second goal for the home side. Jake Kelly weaved his way down the left, spun around and played a smart pass back to Kehoe, Kehoe sprayed the ball across to Verdon who delivered an excellent ball to Simon on the right wing drawing defenders away from him, and Simon cleverly played the ball back to Verdon who blazed his shot over the bar from the edge of the UCD box.

Verdon came close again seven minutes later when his header from a Kehoe cross was smartly saved by UCD keeper Corbet.

The Town’s missed opportunities came back to haunt them in the sixty-ninth minute as UCD drew level. A corner from the right slipped through the grasp of Town keeper Brady and a goalmouth scramble ensued with Longford failing to clear their lines and eventually Manley prodded home the equaliser.

A brilliant move almost put the home side back in front on eighty minutes as O’Sullivan and Simon carved open the UCD rearguard with a superb one-two that left Simon with just keeper Corbet to beat, but his lifted shot over the flailing arms of the diving UCD custodian spun agonisingly wide of the near post.

The visitors nearly snatched a winner on eighty-six minutes when a powerful twenty-yard strike from UCD substitute O’Connor was brilliantly saved by the agile Brady.

Longford Town: Brady, Chambers, Gorman, O’Reilly, Kehoe, Cowan, Dervan, Zambra, Simon, Verdon, O’Sullivan.
Substitutes: Kelly for Cowan (56 minutes), Hofmann for Kehoe (78 minutes).

UCD: Corbet, Tobin, Kouogun, Scales, Osam, Manley, O’Neill, Molloy, McClelland, Kelly, Kavanagh.
Substitutes: O’Connor for Kavanagh (half-time), Hanrahan for Manley.

Match pictures by Tiernan Dolan




FAI Cup Quarter Final: Longford Town 1-4 Cork City

Sun Sep 10th 2017

Cork City go through to the semi-final of the Irish Daily Mail FAI Cup after a controlled display at City Calling Stadium in front of a 910 strong crowd. Leading 3-0 at half time, it was 4 before 60 minutes. Town pulled one back from an own goal. A spirited second half display wasn’t enough as Cork showed why they’re league leaders and cup holders.

Towns next home game is next week v UCD. Kick off on Saturday 16th September is 7.30pm.

 

Starting Line-up: Brady, Friel, Noack-Hofmann, O’Reilly, Haverty, Kehoe, Zambra, Dillon, Verdon, Hopkins, O’Sullivan.
Subs: Kenny, Strawbridge-Simon (Kehoe), Kelly, Chambers (Hopkins), Cowan (Dillon), Gorman, Finnegan.


Blast from the Past – 1974

Tue Aug 15th 2017

Many thanks to Sean Finnegan for the scans from 1974, of an article of the history of the club written by the legendary Paddy Clabby, and it appeared in the Longford Leader Supplement – ’75 Years of Longford’. A great find, thanks Sean!



MY FIRST EVER TOWN GAME by Johnny Nevin

Mon Aug 14th 2017

This article appeared in last Saturday’s Special Edition match programme v Sligo Rivers in the FAI Cup

Most people can remember their first kiss or the first time they flew in a plane. For me however, my special first memory is being at a Longford Town game for the first ever time.

That special memory from 1969 is never far from my mind – the unbelievable atmosphere, the huge crowd, the smell of grass mingled with muck and wintergreen and the unbridled joy of an unlikely victory for De Town. My comic hero Roy of the Rovers had just landed in Longford and I was hooked forever more.

It was when playing football on the street in Congress Terrace, that I first found that a special game was to take place in Longford. Lowly Longford Town were drawn against the sophisticated might of Sligo Rovers in the FAI Cup. Local player Jimmy Savage had stopped by at Ray Masterson’s house. Both were on the team and suddenly they had taken on a new importance in my over active imagination. Never being shy, I marched up to Jimmy and asked for a few free tickets for the big game. “Sure, you never go to matches, young Nevin, no free tickets for you boy.” In those days the players knew all the supporters, even the children !

As the days passed, every one in town was talking about nothing else but the game against slick Sligo Rovers. Even the dogs in the street seemed to be going. So between our games of street football, we were determined that we’d have to be among the masses. With a few precious pence in our pockets, we set off early. But we intended holding on to our funds for sweets . So we trooped off along the canal hoping to gain free entry through a hole in the fence. After all, that’s what kids did in our adventure comics.

But our heroic efforts were frustrated by some vigilant stewards and we just had to change our plans and do without the much anticipated sweets. Coming back over the railway bridge on the Park Road, we couldn’t believe the size of the massive crowds emerging from the special Sligo trains below us. It looked like were being invaded by a foreign army waving red and white flags. Never in our short lives had we ever witnessed like it.

The gang of us young fellas were swept along in a moving mass of humanity and it felt better than any comic book story. I still remember the other lads equally wide eyed with awe – Brendan Nevin, Pascal Flaherty, Zak Hackett, Pat Hussy and Noel Egan.

There had been snow earlier and following a pitch inspection, the game went ahead. An orange coloured ball may even have been used. At the time the population of Longford was 4,073 (it was written on a bench in the station) but between 4,000 and 5,000 crammed into the park (now called the Greyhound Stadium). In today’s terms that would mean more than 10,000 fans in the City Calling Stadium.

The game itself was a bit of a blur because of the nervous excitement and ear shattering noise of a raucous crowd. The stand was jammed, every inch of the surrounding railings was covered and some intrepid fans sat on a roof of a long shed. If the day was cold, no one felt it.

One abiding memory is of the visiting supporters burning their flags after the game. The unfancied Town had shocked Sligo Rovers by 2-0, De Town players had instantly become lifetime , local heroes and I was well and truly hooked.

The following day, I bumped into John Donlon who by then was the Hon Secretary. He was beaming brightly. Not only had we beaten the giants of Irish football, the gate receipts were a staggering £716 and to put that figure in context, during the league a player received the princely sum of 6 pence for a loss, a shilling for a draw and two shillings for a win.

The next game I was ball boy at the Intermediate Cup Final V Transport. We won that game too with a stunning strike from left full back Sammy Caswell. Then the following week, we faced Shelbourne in the next round of the Cup and our hearts were broken as we were beaten 2-0 due, largely to a controversial penalty.

Jimmy Savage said I wasn’t a supporter but since those innocent days my interest in De Town has grown and developed into a wonderful passion for one of Ireland’s greatest little clubs.
C’mon De Town.

Johnny Nevin went on to serve in every role with the club he loves and is currently Treasurer of the Supporters’ Club.


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