Match Report

Town lose to Drogheda to hand play-off initiative to the Louth side

Sat Sep 15th 2018

Match Report by Tony Ghee

Longford Town’s promotion play-off prospects hang by a very thin thread after a two goal salvo from Gareth McCaffrey earned promotion rivals Drogheda United a crucial two-one home victory last night.

The result means that Drogheda leapfrog Longford into the final play-off spot with a two point cushion and a superior goal difference going into the final round of matches next weekend.

Drogheda had the first chance on seven minutes when Richie Purdy’s quickly taken free-kick caught the Town defence napping, and the unmarked Chris Lyons whipped in a dangerous low cross that was just missed at the back post by the lunging Luke Gallagher.

Two minutes later, the home side came close again, as Gareth McCaffrey’s cross from the right picked out striker Lyons, only for Town keeper Mick Kelly to brilliantly save his close range strike.

Longford took the lead on fourteen minutes totally against the run of play. Town striker Dean Dillon won possession twenty-five yards out, weaved his way past three Drogheda defenders and magically curled a stunning twenty yard strike beyond Paul Skinner’s despairing dive into the bottom right corner.

Drogheda should have equalised in the thirty-second minute when William Hondermarck’s exquisite long-range ball over the top of the Town defence put in Mark Doyle, he charged into the box only to shoot wide when he should have rattled the Longford net.

Drogheda deservedly equalised on thirty-five minutes when McCaffrey’s brilliant twenty-five yard free kick from the left, rocketed past Town stopper Kelly and nestled in the bottom right corner.

McGlade could have restored the lead for Longford just before half time, but his lob from a difficult angle on the right over the outrushing home keeper Skinner sailed wide.

The Town had a great chance to regain the lead six minutes after the resumption. Karl Chambers brilliantly dispossessed Conor Kane and passed to McGlade, he inturn released Peter Hopkins with a cleverly disguised pass, Hopkins raced into the box and fired a low shot that Skinner saved with his feet.

On sixty-four minutes, Drogheda won a free-kick on the left which resulted in Gallagher firing McCaffrey’s dangerous ball wide.

Disaster struck for Longford on sixty-nine minutes when Lyons ball over a very high-line Town defence put McCaffrey in the clear, and although he looked well offside, his cool, composed, chipped finish past Kelly was allowed to stand.

Longford almost drew level three minutes later when Chambers just managed to beat Skinner to the ball, however, his sliding effort from a very tight angle hit the side-netting.

A mix-up between Dervin and Zambra almost resulted in a third goal for the home side but Lyon’s diagonal shot flashed just inches wide of Longford’s far post.

The Town almost snatched a dramatic equaliser with the last attack of the game when Town keeper Kelly joined the attack and rose highest to connect with McGlade’s corner, but his header agonisingly went inches wide.

[caption id="attachment_19247" align="aligncenter" width="1859"] Picture from droghedaunited.ie[/caption]

TEAM LINE-UPS

Drogheda United (4-2-3-1): Skinner, Deasy, Kelly, Gallagher, Kane, Purdy, Hyland, McCaffrey (Dillon 75 mins), Hondermarck, Doyle (Adeyemo 92 mins), Lyons.

Longford Town (4-4-2): Kelly, Chambers, McDonnell, O’Reilly, Noack-Hofmann, Hopkins (Ryan 94 mins), Dervin, Zambra (O’Neill 83 mins), McGlade, Dillon, Doyle.

MATCH PHOTOS BY KEN KEENAN

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Match Report: Longford Town FC v Cork City FC

Sat Sep 8th 2018

Match Report by James Donnelly

The largest crowd of the season gathered at the City Calling Stadium on Friday night to witness Premier Division side Cork City take on Neale Fenn’s First Division Longford Town. Current Cup holders Cork City steamrolled into the City Calling Stadium and progressed to the semi finals of the FAI Cup after a controlled, professional performance against the Red and Black.

Cork looked to assert their dominance early on, Karl Sheppard showing intent when he went close after cutting inside from the right wing but his shot was expertly saved by Michael Kelly in the Longford goal.

The visitors didn’t take long in opening their account. Their first goal coming from their Captain on the night – Gearoid Morrissey on 20 minutes. A City corner wasn’t dealt with by Longford and Morrissey somehow, with his back to the goal, managed to flick it over his head and into the corner for a skillful finish.

Dylan McGlade, who had a quiet game for De Town, had a chance only a minute later when he cut inside on his favoured right foot but dragged his shot wide of Peter Cherrie’s goal.

Karl Sheppard showed his class for Cork’s second goal only 3 minutes after their first when he brilliantly rounded Karl Chambers twice before swinging in a cross that was met by a powerful header from Kieran Sadlier at close range that left Michael Kelly no chance.

McGlade went close again, this time picking up a loose cross, he cut inside the box before his zapping shot was deflected narrowly over the bar and out for a corner.

Longford supporters would have felt they could still be in with a fighting chance going in 2-0 down at half time but the game changing moment came on 40 minutes when referee Ray Matthews deemed Darren Meenan to have dangerously fouled a Cork man and gave the Dubliner a straight red. It was an uphill battle from then on for Longford after what seemed like a harsh sending off from the multiple angles the RTE cameras captured of the incident.

Jamie Doyle had a chance to grab a goal back for Longford just before half time. After doing well to hold the ball up from a Town clearance, he turned his man and managed to get a shot off but it was straight into the hands of Cherrie.

[caption id="attachment_19093" align="aligncenter" width="706"] Longford Town’s Aodh Dervin pictured in action during Friday night’s cup clash with Cork City. Pic: Ken Keenan Photography[/caption]

John Caulfield’s men started the second half as they did the first, pushing forward on Longford every time they got on the ball. The extra man didn’t help things for De Town and they conceded a third goal on 54 minutes when Ronan Coughlan pounced on a loose ball in the box to easily slot it home after some great work down the wing by Sheppard.

Cork got their fourth goal 15 minutes later when Sadlier swung a cross field ball to Griffin and his cross was met by Sadlier at the far post. A great move between the two players with the Leesider’s showing no mercy.

Former Longford Town man Josh O’Hanlon got Cork’s fifth goal after an assist from Sadlier from the left side and O’Hanlon made no mistake blasting it home with the left foot.

The goal of the game came from Sadlier on 88 minutes when he sealed his hatrick. Cutting inside from 30 yards out, he unleashed a rocket of a shot that went straight into the net past the outstretched hands of Kelly in goal. A goal that was appreciated even by the dissapointed Town supporters.

Cork wrapped things up in stoppage time when a counter attack saw a 4 on 2 move end with Barry McNamee scoring their seventh and final goal of the game.

[caption id="attachment_19094" align="aligncenter" width="709"] Over 1.100 supporters turned up to the City Calling Stadium for Friday night’s game. Pic: Ken Keenan Photography[/caption]

A tough game and disappointing result for Neale Fenn and his team but there were some positives to take. The likes of Tumelo Tlou and Eoin O’Neill coming on showed the progress of Longford’s youth system. Young players like Aodh Dervin and Karl Chambers, both of whom worked their socks off, will gain valuable experience from playing opposition of such a high level. The main aim of this season was promotion and Longford are very much still in with a chance of doing that and that was always going to be in the back of the mind of the players and managment alike. The big game is against Drogheda at United Park next week.

TEAM LINE-UPS

Longford Town: Michael Kelly, Shane Elworthy, Michael McDonnell, Tristan Noack-Hofmann, Karl Chambers, Peter Hopkins, Dean Zambra (c), Aodh Dervin, Darren Meenan, Dylan McGlade, Jamie Doyle.

Subs: Ben Kelly, Tumelo Tlou (replaced Peter Hopkins), Eoin O’Neill, (replaced Dylan McGlade), Dean Dillon (replaced Jamie Doyle), Jackson Ryan, Evan O’Connor

Cork City: Peter Cherrie, Aaron Barry, Alan Bennett, Shane Griffin, Steven Beattie, Garry Buckley, Jimmy Keohane, Gearoid Morrissey, Kieran Sadlier, Ronan Coughlan, Karl Sheppard.

Subs: Graham Cummins, Shane Daly-Butz (replaced Karl Sheppard)., Conor McCormack, Sean McLoughlin, Barry McNamee (replaced Alan Bennett), Mark McNulty, Josh O’Hanlon (replaced Gerard Morrissey).

Attendance: 1,181

MATCH REPORT: Town Cup run continues after victory over Shelbourne

Sun Aug 26th 2018

Match Report by Tony Ghee

Longford Town progressed to the Quarter-Finals of the Irish Daily Mail FAI Cup with a comfortable two-nil victory over Shelbourne, as goals from Dylan McGlade and Daniel O’Reilly sealed a place in the last eight for the Midlanders for the second successive season.

It was a thoroughly deserved victory for the home side as they dominated proceedings and outplayed the visitors for much of the contest despite missing several key players.

Karl Chambers versatility was again demonstrated as he slotted in at left-back in the absence of Mick McDonnell, with Tristan Noack-Hofmann moving across to partner O’Reilly in the centre of defence.

Shane Elworthy and Peter Hopkins made welcome returns to the starting eleven after their injury absences and came through the game unscathed.

In the second minute, Dean Zambra gained possession and set-up Jamie Doyle, his shot was blocked, and Aodh Dervin fired the rebound just over the Shelbourne bar.

On nine minutes, superb wing wizardry from man-of-the-match McGlade bamboozled the Shels defence, and his cross resulted in Zambra glancing a header well wide from a good position.

Longford came close again in the nineteenth minute when the towering O’Reilly headed a McGlade cross inches over the bar.

Shels striker David O’Sullivan had the visitors first opportunity a minute later but he volleyed over from a John Ross Wilson cross.

The Dubliners enjoyed a good fifteen minute spell just after the half-hour mark creating three good chances.

On thirty-one minutes, Town keeper Mick Kelly produced a magnificent save to keep out Lorcan Fitzgerald’s close range strike from an Evans corner with Greg Moorehouse rifling the rebound over the crossbar.

Two minutes after that, Paddy Kavanagh skipped past the challenge of Town centre-back O’Reilly, raced in on goal, but just as he was about to pull the trigger, Noack-Hofmann got across to make a brilliant goal-saving challenge.

Just before half-time, Town keeper Kelly was called into action again as he kept out Gavin Boyne’s deflected long range strike.

Longford Town struck in first-half stoppage time as McGlade calmly despatched a penalty to the bottom left corner after he had been brought down by Reece McEnteer.

Town stopper Kelly produced a stunning save five minutes into the second-half. Kavanagh played in Adam Evans but his fifteen yard shot was brilliantly stopped by Kelly.

The home side were in the ascendancy for the rest of the match and on fifty-three minutes, O’Reilly’s downward header from McGlade’s corner produced a marvellous save from Dean Delaney.

In the sixty-fifth minute, a quick-fire one-two between McGlade and Doyle carved open the Shelbourne rearguard, McGlade surged into the box and his cut-back found Meenan just inside the penalty area, however, Meenan’s firm strike came back off the post.

Longford ensured victory on seventy-two minutes when O’Reilly volleyed home a McGlade corner to finally beat Shelbourne at the fourth attempt this season, and book the Town’s passage into the quarter-finals of the Irish Daily Mail FAI Cup.

TEAM LINE-UPS:

Longford Town: Kelly, Elworthy (Tilou 94 minutes), O’Reilly, Noack-Hofmann, Chambers, Meenan, Dervin, Zambra, Hopkins (Dillon 90 minutes), Doyle, McGlade.

Shelbourne: Delaney, Ross Wilson, Prendergast, McEnteer, Fitzgerald, Moorehouse, Byrne (Boyne 26 minutes), Moore, Evans (Farrell 75 minutes), Kavanagh (English 57 minutes), O’Sullivan.

Referee: John McLaughlin (Athlone).

MATCH REPORT: Galway United 1-4 Longford Town

Sat Aug 18th 2018

MATCH REPORT BY TONY GHEE

Two goals each from Jamie Doyle and Dylan McGlade helped Longford Town to inflict the heaviest defeat of the season on Galway Utd as they romped to a four goals to one victory over the Tribesman at Eamon Deacy Park.

This crucial victory ends the Westerners play-off hopes, but keeps the ‘Red & Black’ firmly in the promotion hunt just two points behind fourth placed Drogheda.

Longford were missing two quality players from last week’s squad that dumped Premier Division Sligo Rovers out of the FAI Cup as both Sam Verdon and Shane Elworthy failed to recover from last week’s respective injuries. The Town also suffered another injury towards the end of the contest as Jamie Hollywood was stretchered off.

The Midlanders played the better football in the opening half and created the better chances and fully merited their one goal interval advantage.

In the twelfth minute, Dylan McGlade cut in from the left and fired a twenty-two yard shot that Galway keeper Tadhg Ryan tipped over the bar and on fourteen minutes, a Karl Chambers long range effort flew over the Galway Bar.

The Town took a deserved lead on the quarter-hour mark with a superbly worked goal. Jamie Doyle knocked the ball into the path of McGlade who switched the play to Darren Meenan on the right wing, and his pin-point cross found the inrushing Doyle who buried the ball into the back of the Galway net from close range.

Galway’s only decent first-half effort came in the twenty-ninth minute when Ryan Connolly’s quickly taken free-kick caught out the Town rearguard but a lunging shot from Stephen Walsh went just wide.

The visitors should have increased their advantage just before half-time when an unmarked Doyle headed badly wide from a Meenan right-wing cross.

Longford doubled their lead just six minutes into the second-half. A clever back-heeled flick from Meenan on the right picked out Jamie Hollywood in space, and he passed to Doyle who rifled home a powerful shot to the net off Galway keeper Ryan.

Longford sealed all three points just four minutes later as McGlade raced in from the left after receiving a great pass from Doyle and somehow he powered a shot to the bottom right corner of the Galway net from a very tight angle.

The irresistible McGlade almost made it four on sixty-nine minutes but his shot that seemed destined for the top corner was magnificently saved by Ryan.

Ryan again produced a stunning save just two minutes later as he kept out Daniel O’Reilly’s close range header.

The Town completed the rout when McGlade scored his second on seventy-eight minutes with a low, crisp drive that flew past Ryan and nestled in the bottom left corner.

Galway grabbed an injury time consolation with the last attack of the match as substitute Carlton Ubaezuono scored from a tight angle on the left.


TEAM LINE-UPS

Galway Utd: Ryan, Horgan, Williams, Walsh, Ludden, Barry, Conway, Byrne, Russell, Connolly, McCormack.
Substitutions: Melody for Conway (half-time), Ubaezuono for Russell (64 minutes), Coyne for McCormack (84 minutes).

Longford Town: Kelly, Chambers, McDonnell, O’Reilly, Noack-Hofmann, Zambra, Dervin, Hollywood, Meenan, Doyle, McGlade.
Substitutions: O’Connor for Chambers, Dillon for Doyle (both 76 minutes), Ryan for Dervin (81 minutes).

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