Match Report by Tony Ghee
Longford Town’s unbeaten home record came to an end last night as league leaders UCD departed the City Calling Stadium with all three points after a comfortable 2-0 victory over the hosts.
It was a very disappointing display by Longford Town that produced only one shot on target and the lifeless performance was in complete contrast to the sparkling football that the team have played the rest of the season. It was UCD that played the better football and created virtually all the chances in the contest and the visitors richly deserved the victory.
UCD should have led at half-time but a combination of brilliant goalkeeping from Mick Kelly and some poor finishing by the students resulted in a goalless first half.
In the fifth minute, UCD striker Georgie Kelly beat the Town offside trap and raced into the Longford box from the left, however, his shot from a tight angle was well saved by Town keeper Mick Kelly.
On nineteen minutes, the towering Georgie Kelly headed over an O’Neill free-kick and then on thirty-four minutes, the big UCD striker was denied again as his twenty-five yard piledriver was brilliantly saved by Town stopper Mick Kelly.
Jason McClelland should have found the Longford net on thirty-nine minutes but his shot on the turn from just twelve yards out went wide.
Three minutes before the interval, a slick UCD move carved open the Town rearguard. A quick exchange of passes between Coffey and Georgie Kelly put in Daire O’Connor clean through on goal with just Town keeper Mick Kelly to beat, but the Collingwood Cup Player Of The Season failed to hit the target as Kelly produced a magnificent save.
UCD deservedly took the lead just after the hour mark when man-of-the-match Georgie Kelly won possession and slotted home from close range after a clever one-two with O’Neill.
The Town goal survived another scare four minutes later when a Kelly shot on the turn, on the edge of the Town box, sailed narrowly over the Town bar.
Longford’s only shot on target eventually arrived in the sixty-ninth minute when striker Dean Byrne skipped by his marker only to direct his curling effort straight at UCD keeper Kearns.
UCD wrapped up victory on seventy-seven minutes with Georgie Kelly’s second goal of the contest.
A quick break by the visitors resulted in McClelland rampaging down the left, he cut inside along the end-line and cleverly played a low ball into the path of the unmarked Kelly, and he rifled a scorching nine-yard shot to the roof of the Longford net.
Substitute Paul Doyle almost made it three for the visitors on eighty-one minutes, but his rising fifteen yard strike was superbly tipped over by Town keeper Mick Kelly.
Next up for Longford is another home game next Saturday night when Finn Harps come to the City Calling Stadium with the game kicking-off at the usual 7-30pm time.
Longford Town: Kelly, O’Connor, McDonnell, O’Reilly, Noack-Hofmann, Chambers, Dervin, Zambra, Galvin, Byrne, Mulhall.
Substitutes: McGlade for O’Connor (65 minutes), Meenan for Galvin (78 minutes), Verdon for Zambra (78 minutes).
UCD: Kearns,Tobin, Kouogun, Collins, Scales, Coffey, O’Neill, Sloggett, McClelland, O’Connor, Kelly.
Substitutes: Doyle for O’Connor (78 minutes), Mahdy for Coffey (82 minutes), Hanrahan for Kelly (89 minutes).