Match Report

MATCH REPORT: Longford Town 1-0 Drogheda United

Sat Jun 16th 2018

Match Report by Tony Ghee

Longford Town bounced back from their away defeat at Cabinteely with an excellent one-nil victory at home to promotion challengers Drogheda United to move back into the play-off places, as Sam Verdon’s sixth league goal of the season sealed the crucial three points for Neale Fenn’s charges at the City Calling Stadium last night.

The Town were missing the suspended Meenan and Galvin, and the injured Hopkins and Byrne, but Dervin was back in the panel after having completed his Leaving Cert. Drogheda were missing Conor Kane after he was injured at the City Calling Stadium on Tuesday during the Irish Colleges and Universities 2-1 victory over their French counterparts.

Drogheda were by far the superior team in the opening twenty-five minutes but failed to convert their dominance into goals.

In the eleventh minute, Drogheda striker Lyons should have scored but he fired his swivel shot straight at Town stopper Kelly from no more than eight yards out.

Two minutes later, Jake Hyland came very close to opening the scoring for the visitors but Kelly was alert to palm Hyland’s twenty yard curling strike around the post. Kelly was again called into action from the subsequent corner when he produced a fine save from Doyle’s header.

The home side had another lucky escape in the twenty-first minute when Purdy’s crisp twenty yard shot with the outside of his left boot from a Hyland cut-back came crashing back off the Longford post.

However, against the run of play, Longford hit the front on twenty-seven minutes when the towering Verdon rose above his markers to brilliantly head home from a McGlade free-kick.

Once the Town scored, they grew in confidence and proceeded to play much better for the rest of the contest. A superb weaving run into the visitors box from McGlade had the Drogheda defence in turmoil and his clever pull-back picked out Verdon, but his goalbound shot was magnificently blocked by defender Farragher.

Drogheda came close to equalising on 31 minutes when they struck the post for the second time as Mark Doyle’s 15 yard shot was pushed onto the post by Town keeper Kelly.

The second-half produced very few chances for either side, but the Town played the better football. Drogheda’s best opportunity came early in the new half as a Lyon’s volley from a Deacy cross rocketed narrowly over the Town bar, while at the other end, the Town should have scored a second goal on eigthty-five minutes, however, Mulhall’s shot from Hollywood’s excellent pass was straight at Drogheda keeper Skinner.

There were some excellent individual displays from Elworthy, McDonnell and McGlade but one player who deserves special mention is Karl Chambers. Just like Dervin, and Noack-Hoffman, Chambers has graduated from the underage ranks into the first team and his superb all round display last night proved what a valuable asset he is to the ‘Red & Black’s’ promotion push.

The Town have now won their last three matches against fellow top six sides with victories over Galway United, Finn Harps, and Drogheda to build momentum going into the summer break. Hopefully, they can make it four in-a-row against leaders UCD at the Belfield Bowl in their next fixture on Friday, June 29th.

TEAM LINE-UPS

Longford Town: Kelly, Elworthy, McDonnell, O’Reilly, Hofmann, Zambra, Chambers, Hollywood, Dervin, McGlade, Verdon.
Substitutes: Mulhall for Verdon (81 minutes).

Drogheda United: Skinner, Deacy, Gallagher, Farragher, Kelly, McCaffrey, Doyle, Hyland, Purdy, Brennan, Lyons.
Substitutes: Hondermarck for Purdy (63 minutes), Duffy for McCaffrey (78 minutes).

Match highlights and post match interviews are all on our Longford Town TV YouTube channel. 

MATCH REPORT: Town’s six game unbeaten run ended by Cabo

Sat Jun 9th 2018

Match Report by Tony Ghee

Longford Town’s impressive six game unbeaten league run was brought to a halt in Stradbrook last night as a goal on the half-hour mark from Kevin Knight gave Cabinteely a one-nil victory, a result that sees Longford drop down to fifth in the League table after Finn Harps won away at Galway United.

The Town came into the contest with four wins and two draws from their last six games and the momentum of those back-to-back wins over Galway and Finn Harps over the Bank Holiday weekend had propelled Neale Fenn’s charges into the play-off positions. However, this was always going to be a tricky contest as Cabinteely are very hard beaten at home. Their three home losses to Wexford, Cobh, and Galway were all one goal defeats, while they have beaten UCD, Shelbourne, and Drogheda at Stradbrook, so a draw would have been an excellent result.

The first twenty-five minutes produced very little to entertain the fans but the Town suffered a huge blow after just twelve minutes when striker Dean Byrne who had produced four assists in the wins over Galway and Harps, went off injured with a groin problem that will probably keep him out of action for several weeks.

[caption id="attachment_17202" align="aligncenter" width="315"] Town forward, Dean Byrne, who will be out of action for a few games following an injury[/caption]

The first real shot at goal came after twenty-six minutes when McGlade ran at the Cabo defence, turned inside his marker and let fly from the edge of the box, but his shot went wide.

Disaster struck for the visitors on the half-hour mark as Cabinteely took the lead with their first effort on goal. Dalton floated a free-kick from the left into the Town box that was misjudged by Zambra and his attempted clearance deflected the ball straight to Knight at the back post and the Cabinteely full-back fired home from close range.

The Town suddenly came alive and began to exert pressure on the Dubliners defence. On thirty-three minutes, an Elworthy throw found McGlade who cleverly lifted the ball over defender Knight, he ran onto the ball but his strike was well off target.

In the thirty-ninth minute, a sweeping Town move carved open the Cabo rearguard. McDonnell intercepted a Cabo pass and played the ball to McGlade who quickly moved the ball to Mulhall, and Mulhall set-up Verdon for a shot that went narrowly wide.

Just before the interval, Town defender O’Reilly almost equalised but his thunderous fifteen-yard goalbound shot was brilliantly blocked.

Cabinteely should have doubled their advantage just two minutes after the restart. Marty Waters superb ball put in Clucas on the left side of the Longford box, and although the angle was slightly narrow, he only had Town keeper Kelly to beat, but instead of shooting to the far bottom corner he played a harmless ball across the six-yard box that was easily cleared.

Verdon shot over on fifty-two minutes from O’Reilly’s excellent long diagonal pass, while at the other end on seventy-six minutes, clever play from Waters set-up Watson who fired a shot just inches over the Town bar.

Longford completely dominated the last twenty minutes but failed to snatch a deserved equaliser due to a combination of poor finishing, good defending, and a couple of excellent saves from McGuinness in the Cabinteely goal.

Longford almost scored a dramatic injury time equaliser. Galvin’s twenty-yard shot was well saved by McGuinness but the ball came out to Verdon at the back post and he seemed destined to rattle the net from close range only for McGuinness to somehow get across to produce a magnificent save with Mulhall’s rebound strike blocked away.

The Town finished with ten players for the third time in four games as Galvin received his marching orders deep into injury time.

Next up for Longford Town is a home tie against Drogheda next Friday night at the City Calling Stadium at 7.45pm.

TEAM LINE-UPS:

Cabinteely FC: McGuinness, Tuite, Fitzpatrick, Lotefa, Knight, Dalton, Watson, Dolan, Casey, Marty Waters, Clucas.

Substitutes: Morgan for Dolan (59 minutes), McGee and Byrne for Clucas and Casey (71 minutes).

Longford Town: Kelly, Elworthy, McDonnell, O’Reilly, Noack-Hofmann, Chambers, Hollywood, Zambra, McGlade, Byrne, Verdon.

Substitutes: Mulhall for Byrne (12 minutes), Hopkins for Chambers (56 minutes), Galvin for Hollywood (71 minutes)

Match Report: Finn Harps 2-4 Longford Town FC

Tue Jun 5th 2018

SSE Airtricity League First Division
Finn Harps 2-4 Longford Town
Monday 4th June 2018
City Calling Stadium / 5.00pm

Match Report by James Donnelly

Longford Town rolled into Ballybofey yesterday evening high on momentum from the previous Friday’s brilliant win over Galway United at home. A trip up to Donegal only 3 days later seemed like a daunting task but De Town came away 4-2 winners in Finn Park in what was a physical, back and forth encounter.

Longford applied pressure on the northerners from the get go and there wasn’t more than 5 minutes on the clock when local star Aodh Dervin volleyed home from a Sam Verdon headed pass to put De Town 1-0 up. Dervin’s second goal in as many games for the club.

From then on, it was all Finn Harps. Ollie Horgan’s men began to hold possession and attack the Longford Town defence, Ciaran O’Connor going close from distance on 11 minutes, and Jesse Devers being denied by the finger tips of Town keeper Michael Kelly only a few moments later.

Sam Verdon could have put Longford 2-0 up on 14 minutes when a good solo run from the midfield saw the Dublin man’s shot hit the post of Ciaran Gallagher’s goal and bounce back out. A let off for the Donegal team.

Dylan McGlade got Longford’s second on the half hour mark when a beautifully placed pass from Dean Byrne found the pacy winger who easily slipped it past Gallagher in goal to put Longford in control.

Finn Harps had calls for a penalty waved away not too long after when Devers went down from what appeared to be an ok challenge from Dervin but Eoghan O’Shea immediately signalled no peno, much to the delight of the Longford Town travelling support and the dismay of Ollie Horgan.

The home side came out all guns blazing in the second half and it wasn’t long before they got their first goal back in the game. A challenge from Town defender Daniel O’Reilly resulted in a penalty for Finn Harps which Paddy McCourt duly put away with ease to get them back into the game. Only 4 minutes later, Harps got their equaliser when a through ball to Mikey Place saw him slip in behind the Town defence to slot it past Kelly to make it 2-2.

[caption id="attachment_17802" align="aligncenter" width="579"]               Dylan McGlade pictured scoring his second goal of the night and Longford Town’s fourth. Pic: Ken Keenan[/caption]

But Longford were having none of it. De Town marched straight back up the pitch from tip off and won a corner. The resulting cross was hit across the box to Dean Byrne who swung it back in to the head of Sam Verdon who headed home from close range to put Neale Fenn’s men back in the driving seat. Dean Byrne’s second assist of the game.

McGlade stunned the home support again with a brilliant solo effort on 80 minutes. Picking the ball up in the centre circle, he dribbled down field with speed before turning his man and blasting it low into the corner of the net to cement the win for Longford Town.

The game ended 4-2 in favour of De Town but not without controversy, a Finn Harps man being sent off after the final whistle, first for a kick at substitute Jamie Hollywood and then a disgusting headbutt on substitute Chris Mulhall.

Poor sportsmanship on display at the end of a great game for Longford Town.

TEAM LINE-UPS

Finn Harps: Ciaran Gallagher, Aidan Friel, Ciaran Coll (C), Keith Cowan, Jesse Devers, Ciaran O’Connor, Tommy McBride (red card), Mark Timlin, Paddy McCourt, Sam Todd.

Longford Town: Michael Kelly, Shane Elworthy, Daniel O’Reilly, Michael McDonnell, Tristan Noack-Hofmann, Dylan McGlade, Aodh Dervin, Dean Zambra (C), Dean Byrne, Sam Verdon, Karl Chambers

Subs: Jack Brady, Peter Hopkins (used), Chris Mulhall (used), Evan Galvin, Jamie Hollywood (used), Jackson Ryan.

Attendance: 545

Match Report: Longford Town FC 3-2 Galway United

Sat Jun 2nd 2018

SSE Airtricity League First Division

Longford Town FC 3-2 Galway United

Friday 1st June 2018
City Calling Stadium |  7:45PM

Match Report by James Donnelly

 

19 year old local star Aodh Dervin shined brightly at the City Calling Stadium last Friday night as Longford Town ran out 3-2 winners over Galway United. Dervin, alongside man of the match Sam Verdon and Karl Chambers all picked up a goal each to earn Neale Fenn’s men all 3 points in what was an exciting back and forth encounter. Two goals also for Galway, a missed penalty and a sending off for Longford Town made the game one to remember for the 410 there to witness it at the Strokestown Road venue.

Longford started the game brightly with Dervin missing a chance just a few minutes in. Dylan McGlade’s cross was poorly cleared by former Town defender Stephen Walsh and it fell to Dervin on the edge of the box who blasted it over the bar. He made up for that miss not too long after when Dean Byrne found him near enough in the same position and this time he made no mistake, bending the ball into the far corner of the Galway net to put Longford Town 1-0 up with less than 10 minutes gone on the clock. A brilliant goal and a memorable one for the young Longford man’s first at senior level.

Galway almost immediately equalized straight after, a long throw in from the left side was headed on by Eoin McCormack to Gary Shanahan but his impressive effort was brilliantly saved by the fingertips of Town goalkeeper Michael Kelly who went on to make a number of key saves during the game.

The every lively Dylan McGlade created problems for Galway throughout and his crosses in the first half caused major headaches for Shane Keegan’s men, Tristan Noack-Hofmann going close with a header as a result of a McGlade corner.

Longford Town’s Shane Elworthy pictured in action during De Town’s 3-2 victory over Galway at the City Calling Stadium. Pic: Tiernan Dolan

Gary Shanahan and Eoin McCormack linked up again for Galway on 32 minutes, Shanahan beating Noack-Hofmann on the right side before putting in a cross that met the feet of McCormack who had gotten between the two centre backs Daniel O’Reilly and Michael McDonnell, but his shot from 5 yards out was hit high and over as Town escaped a possible equalizer for the tribesmen.

Town pressured Galway and didn’t allow them much time on the bal in the first halfl. The westerners struggled to clear and Darren Meenan gaining possession in the corner, played it across to Dean Byrne who’s shot was blocked by Walsh at the last second.

Aodh Dervin could have had his second of the night on 40 minutes when McGlade broke down the right wing before laying it inside to Noack-Hofmann who slipped it to Dervin but his shot was straight into the hands of Gleeson in goal.

Galway still managed to create chances with Eoin McCormack going close again on 42 minutes, this time for 30 yards out, his shot narrowly going wide of Michael Kelly’s right hand post.

It could have been 2-0 to Longford immediately after when centre back Michael McDonnell went up for a Darren Meenan free on the right hand side but his looping header was brilliantly tipped over the bar by Gleeson.

Town eventually got their second just before half time when Sam Verdon struck low into the bottom right corner. A brilliant header by McGlade landed at the feet of Dean Byrne who slipped Verdon in behind the Galway defence and he made no mistake in slotting it by Gleeson to put Longford ahead, much to the delight of the home support who were loud throughout.

Longford suffered a major blow right at the half time whistle when Darren Meenan was given a straight red on what appeared to be a reckless challenge on Galway’s Conor Barry. No contact was made but referee Thomas Dempsey deemed it serious enough to issue the Dublin man a red card.

With Longford down to 10 men, Galway came out all guns blazing and proceeded to rain down attacks on the Town defence. Alex Byrne going close in the opening minutes, his shot from the edge of the box going wide after being deflected off his fellow team-mate McCormack.

[caption id="attachment_17716" align="aligncenter" width="517"] Sam Verdon who scored Longford’s second, pictured alongside former Town player Stephen Walsh.[/caption]

Dean Byrne missed a glorious opportunity to put the game to bed when on 50 minutes, he intercepted a bad pass from Galway’s Robbie Williams, went by the defender and ended up 6 yards out from goal but his left footed shot was blazed over the bar, much to the relief of the travelling Galway support.

Galway got one back on 56 minutes when Dylan McGlade, who had been playing superb, was caught in possession by McCormack, the ball fell to Conor Barry who went through on goal and expertly put it past Michael Kelly to make it 2-1. A lapse in concentration that luckily didn’t cost Longford in the end.

Again, McCormack was in the thick of it for Galway, this time winning a soft free kick against Longford’s McDonnell. The resultant free kick however, was straight into the hands of Kelly. Only minutes later, Marc Ludden went close for the Connaught side, his dragging shot going wide of the post.

Galway were given a very generous lifeline on 64 minutes when former Town player Ryan Connolly was awarded a penalty. The number 10 jumped up between Longford’s two centre backs after a botched clearance and fell hard on the ground which saw Dempsey blow his whistle, much to the astonishment of the Town players and supporters. Up stepped Alan Murphy who sky rocketed his shot high over the bar.

Ludden went close for Galway again, this time a 1-2 between McCormack and Connolly saw the ball land at the feet of Ludden in the box who’s shot brought a fine save from Kelly in the Longford goal. Kelly, proving invaluable during the game.

Longford finally got their third goal on 79 minutes when some lax defending from Galway saw the ball fall to substitute Jamie Hollywood on the edge of the box, he played it into Sam Verdon who laid it off to Karl Chambers who chested it down and volleyed it low past Gleeson, hitting the post, it came back out and hit Williams before ending up in the back of the net. Some would call it an own goal but we’re giving it to Chambers!

Galway got their second eight minutes later when a high ball wasn’t dealt with, the ball landed to Stephen Walsh who made no mistake hitting a powerful shot low into the bottom corner to make it 3-2 with 5 minutes remaining, hearts in their mouths for Longford fans.

Daniel O’Reilly almost made it 4-2 in injury time, his free kick from the edge of the box was saved by Glesson before Hollywood missed the rebound. Summing up Galways night, The free had been awarded after Gleeson had mistakenly walked outside his box while holding the ball, although no yellow card was issued.

The final whistle blew and City Calling Stadium erupted. A well needed win for Longford Town which puts them right back in contention for a promotion spot. Manager Neale Fenn said he was delighted with the team’s performance and result but stressed how important it is to follow it up with a good result in Finn Park on bank holiday Monday when Town travel to Ballybofey to take on Finn Harps.

Longford Town: Michael Kelly, Shane Elworthy, Michael McDonnell, Daniel O’Reilly, Tristan Noack-Hofmann, Dylan McGlade (replaced by Karl Chambers), Dean Zambra (C), Aodh Dervin, Darren Meenan (red card), Sam Verdom (replaced by Evan Galvin), Dean Byrne (replaced by Jamie Hollywood)

Subs not used: Jack Brady, Daniel Ridge, Jackson Ryan.

Galway United: Conor Gleeson, Maurice Nugent (replaced by Conor Melody), Robbie Williams, Stephen Walsh, Gary Shanahan, Alex Byrne (replaced by Stephen Kenny), Alan Murphy, Ryan Connolly ©, Marc Ludden, Conor Barry (replaced by Carlton Ubaezuonu), Eoin McCormack

Subs not used: Arek Mamala, Conor Layng, Ronan Manning.

Referee: Thomas Dempsey

Attendance: 410

Red Cards: (1) – Darren Meenan/Longford Town FC

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