Match Report

MATCH REPORT: Longford Town 2-1 Drogheda United

Sat Jul 13th 2019

Match Report by Tony Ghee

Longford up to second after crucial win over Drogheda

Longford Town moved above Drogheda into second place in the SSE Airtricity League First Division, as goals from Dylan Grimes and Sam Verdon secured a two-one victory over the Boynesiders at the City Calling Stadium.

Longford are now just five points behind leaders Shelbourne with seven matches remaining as automatic promotion is now back on track for Neale Fenn’s charges ahead of next week’s crucial top four clash away to Cabinteely.

The visitors had the first opportunity on thirteen minutes when Meaney’s twenty-five yard shot flew just wide of the Town post.

Longford dominated possession in the opening half-hour but failed to breach the Drogheda rearguard.

On eighteen minutes, Longford almost scored when striker Aaron Dobbs outpaced defender Luke Gallagher, cut inside from the left and rifled a shot from a tight angle that was saved by the feet of Drogheda keeper Luca Gratzer, while Jack Doherty’s rebound effort was blocked away by a visiting defender.

Four minutes later, the Town created another chance down the left side. This time, Anto Breslin charged into the Drogheda box but his angled strike whistled just wide of the far post.

On the half-hour mark a shot on the turn from Longford new boy Grimes was saved by Drogheda keeper Gratzer.

Totally against the run of play, the Boynesiders took the lead on thirty-two minutes with a very soft goal.Mark Doyle poked the ball across to Meaney who somehow managed to squeeze a weakly hit sixteen yard effort through a crowded penalty area to the Longford net.

Drogheda came close to extending their lead on thirty-seven minutes when the unmarked Gallagher headed a Sean Brennan free-kick onto the top of the Longford net.

The home side deservedly equalised on thirty-nine minutes when Doherty found Grimes inside the Drogheda box, he brilliantly shielded the ball before cleverly back-heeling the ball into the bottom left corner of the Drogheda net.

On fifty-four minutes, Drogheda left-back Conor Kane ran onto a pass from James Clarke and raced into the Town box before unleashing a shot that just cleared the Longford bar.

In the eighty-fourth minute, a Conor Kenna header from a Dean Zambra free-kick was just too high, much to the relief of the visitors’ defence.

However, Drogheda’s relief was short-lived as the ‘Red & Black’ hit the front just a minute later as substitute Verdon headed home Breslin’s left-wing cross to secure three valuable points for Longford Town.

Longford Town (4-1-4-1): Steacy, Elworthy, McDonnell, Kenna, Breslin, Zambra, Grimes, Dervin, Doherty, Chambers, Dobbs.
Substitutes: Hopkins for Grimes (64 minutes), Verdon for Doherty (77 minutes), Evans

Drogheda Utd (4-2-3-1): Gratzer, Heeney, Gallagher, McNally, Kane, Brennan, Hyland, McPhillips, Clarke, Doyle, Meaney.
Substitutes: Adeyemo for McPhillips (45 minutes), O’Shea for Clarke (77 minutes)

[team_standings 19915]

MATCH REPORT: Longford Town 1-0 Cobh Ramblers

Sat Jun 29th 2019

Match Report by Tony Ghee

Longford Town moved back up to second in the SSE Airtricity League First Division after a one-nil victory over Cobh Ramblers at the City Calling Stadium, courtesy of a thirty-second minute goal from Sam Verdon.

The Town dominated the opening twenty minutes creating three good opportunities.

In the fifth minute, Aodh Dervin’s pass picked out Verdon on the left and his lob dropped narrowly wide of the far post.

Within sixty seconds, Town striker Aaron Dobbs’ glancing header from a Dean Zambra corner flashed just wide of the far post.

On nine minutes, Longford came closest to hitting the front as Conor Kenna’s looping sixteen yard header from another Zambra corner was headed off the Cobh line by defender Kevin Taylor.

The visitors recovered well after the twenty minute mark and played much better football, testing the Town defence twice on twenty-one and twenty-seven minutes, however, Town keeper Lee Steacy came to the rescue both times.

In the twenty-first minute, Cobh striker Cian Leonard threaded a brilliant defence-splitting pass through to Jaze Kabia whose strike was brilliantly saved by Steacy with Leonard’s rebound effort producing another outstanding save from Steacy.

Six minutes later, Steacy again came to Longford’s rescue with a fine stop from Greg Henry’s low shot after a one-two between Henry and Leonard had opened up the Town rearguard.

Just as Cobh appeared to have got the upper hand, they suffered a hammer blow on thirty-two minutes as Longford Town took the lead courtesy of a one-two between Dobbs and Sam Verdon with Verdon rifling home from just inside the Cobh box.

Zambra came close to extending Longford’s lead on sixty-six minutes when his curling twenty yard free-kick sailed just over the Cobh crossbar.

Cobh keeper Paul Hunt kept the visitors in the contest on seventy-five minutes with a superb save from Dean Byrne’s curling effort after the tricky winger had jinked his way past two Cobh defenders.

Sam Verdon almost doubled the Town’s advantage ten minutes from time when his audacious lob from inside his own half sailed over the advanced Cobh stopper Hunt, only to go narrowly wide.

Team Line-Ups

Longford Town: Steacy, Elworthy, McDonnell, Kenna, Breslin, Zambra, Hopkins, Dervin, Verdon, Byrne, Dobbs.
Substitutes: Doyle for Dobbs (84 minutes), Chambers for Verdon (84 minutes)

Cobh Ramblers: Hunt, Taylor, McSweeney, Lyons, O’Riordan, Henry, Lambe, Kabia, Christopher, Harison, Leonard.
Substitutes: O’Leary for Christopher (60 minutes), Murphy for Kabia (65 minutes), O’Rourke for Harison (80 minutes).

Match Report: Shelbourne FC 1-0 Longford Town FC

Fri May 31st 2019

Match Report by James Donnelly

Longford Town players, staff and supporters will feel very disappointed leaving Tolka Park tonight after losing 1-0 to Shelbourne thanks to a 79th minute penalty courtesy of Conan Byrne.

The home side started the better of the two teams, with James English hitting the post from a header in the 5th minute before the ball was eventually cleared away by the Longford defence.

Shelbourne kept De Town pinned back for the opening 25 minutes or so before Longford started to come into the game. Dean Byrne, who was probably the Red and Black’s best performer on the night, laid it off to Anto Breslin on the left, he whipped in a cross that was headed just narrowly wide by Aaron Dobbs.

Only 10 minutes later, Byrne sent Breslin on his way again, this time the cross was pulled back for Sam Verdon but his shot went narrowly wide of the post.

Paul O’Conor was replaced by Jamie Hollywood just before half time after he picked up an injury.

The second half was all Longford Town. Neale Fenn’s side could have opened the scoring just 3 minutes in when Aaron Dobbs had a shot from close range but it was well saved by McCabe in the Shelbourne goal.

Longford really pressed the hosts back and had another chance on 57 minutes. Dean Byrne again going close but not close enough. He took a high ball down brilliantly before turning his man but his shot was high over the bar.

Shels struggled to get a foothold in the second half and had scarce opportunities to score as the game progressed. Some great pressure from Shane Elworthy and Aodh Dervin was causing the home side problems and they began to aimlessly hit it out of play.

Longford missed another opportunity just after the hour mark when Dean Byrne again beat his man and foud himself in space before laying it off to Sam Verdon who’s shot was hit straight into the hands of McCabe.

It felt as if it was not going to be De Town’s night and on 79 minutes, Shels got the winner. A challenge by Peter Hopkins was deemed a foul and a penalty was awarded. Conan Byrne stepped up and coolly slotted it into the bottom corner.

Longford bombarded the Shels goal with wave after wave of attack for the remaining minutes but it wasn’t to be as the final whistle blew with the home side gaining all 3 points in a game that De Town didn’t deserve to lose but will rue their missed chances.

TEAM LINE-UPS

Shelbourne: McCabe, Friel, Fitzgerald, Marku, Brennan, Farrell, Rooney, Brennan, English (replaced by Byrne), Moore (replaced by Noone), Kilduff.

Subs: Delany, O’Hanlon, Moorehouse, McKenna, Connolly,

Longford Town: Lee Steacy, Shane Elworthy, Mick McDonnell, Conor Kenna, Anto Breslin, Sam Verdon, Paul O’Conor (replaced by Jamie Hollywood), Aodh Dervin, Dean Zambra (replaced by Jamie Doyle), Dean Byrne, Aaron Dobbs (replaced by Peter Hopkins).

Subs: Jack Menton, Karl Chambers, Joe Manley, Sean Brennan.

Match Report: Longford Town FC 3-1 Athlone Town AFC

Sat May 25th 2019

Match Report by Tony Ghee

Longford Town moved up to second place in the First Division table just a point behind leaders Shelbourne, after a brace from Dean Byrne and a penalty from Sam Verdon earned Neale Fenn’s charges a three-one victory over Midland rivals Athlone Town at the City Calling Stadium.

The home side took the lead on the quarter-hour mark when Verdon was inexplicably shoved over by Athlone centre-half Ciaran Grogan. Verdon dusted himself down, and calmly despatched the penalty, sending keeper Aaron Myles the wrong way.

Longford’s lead was very short-lived as Athlone were back on level terms within two minutes as the home defence were caught napping. Longford failed to properly clear a left-wing cross from Kaleem Simon, allowing Aaron Brilly to slip the ball through to striker Dean Williams and he poked home the equaliser.

Longford regained the lead on thirty-one minutes when Dean Zambra’s corner resulted in Kealan Dillon’s poor headed clearance being put back into the Athlone box by Paul O’Connor and Byrne brilliantly finished to the Athlone net.

The ‘Red & Black’ almost scored a third on thirty-eight minutes but Anto Breslin’s twenty-five yard free-kick struck the Athlone crossbar.

Longford Town started the second-half in whirlwind fashion and were again denied by the woodwork just four minutes after the resumption. Verdon’s exquisite curling shot from just outside the box on the left came back-off the far post and was gathered at the second attempt by Athlone keeper Myles despite being under pressure from O’Connor.

Dean Byrne grabbed his second of the contest and Longford’s third on fifty-three minutes when he created space for himself before rifling his shot to the Athlone net.

The home side created another good chance in the sixty-fifth minute. Aaron Dobbs released Byrne down the left, he skipped past Evan White, got to the end-line and whipped in a cross that was headed narrowly wide by Verdon.

Byrne was denied his hat-trick on seventy-seven minutes when he weaved his way into the Athlone box from the left only for his effort to be saved by Athlone stopper Myles.

TEAM LINE-UPS

Longford Town: Steacy, Elworthy, McDonnell, Kenna, Breslin, Zambra, Verdon, Dervin, O’Conor, Byrne, Dobbs.
Substitutions: Chambers for Verdon & Hollywood for Zambra (both 72 minutes)

Athlone Town: Myles, White, Buckley, Grogan, Casey, Kearney, Hogan, Brilly, Dillon, Simon, Williams.
Substitutions: Stokes for Hogan (63 minutes), Lotefa for Dillon (76 minutes)

Referee: Garvin Taggert

PICTURES BY TIERNAN DOLAN

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2019 SSE Airtricity League First Division

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