Match Report

MATCH REPORT: Longford Town 1-2 Finn Harps

Sun Apr 29th 2018

Match Report by James Donnelly

Longford Town FC came into this game at City Calling Stadium riding a wave of confidence following a thrilling 1-0 victory over Shamrock Rovers in the second round of the EA Sports Cup last Tuesday night in Tallaght. Captain on the night Daniel O’Reilly knocking the south Dublin team out of the competition with a goal in the 89th minute. Donegal’s Finn Harps came to the Midlands following a 1-0 win over Cabinteely in Ballybofey last weekend courtesy of an 86th minute strike from Sam Todd. Ollie Horgan had been to every home game of Longford’s this season so the Northerners would have been well prepared.

Harps started the game well and caught De Town napping in the 6th minute. The ball came out to BJ Banda on the left flank whose cross to Mark Coyle allowed him to easily turn onto his right and slot it by Michael Kelly in the Longford goal, albeit with a little help from the post.

From that moment on, and indeed for the entirety of the game, it was all Longford Town. Aodh Dervin (who went off injured at half-time) picked up the ball in the centre of the field, he picked out Dylan McGlade whose shot from distance was just wide of the Finn Harps post.

Only moments later, centre back and captain once again, Daniel O’Reilly, found himself on the right wing. He crossed the ball in for Sam Verdon who headed it back into the path of number 9, Chris Mulhall. Mulhall hesitated somewhat but managed to get his shot off only for it to be cleared off the line by Harps’ Paddy McCourt.

Mulhall was in the thick of it once again on 24 minutes when midfielder Jamie Hollywood cut inside from the right wing and toe pocked it to Mulhall whose diagonal shot was saved by Harps net minder Gallagher.

On 30 minutes, McGlade went close again from Longford. This time, cutting inside from the left wing, he took a swerving shot from distance that left Gallagher flat footed in goal but it just went narrowly over the bar.

Tension was building and tempers flared over when Harps player Michael O’Connor appeared to recklessly challenge Town defender Karl Chambers in the 38th minute, a bit of pushing and shoving between a number of players ensued with Harps manager Ollie Horgan becoming very animated on the sideline. In the end, a yellow card was handed out to O’Connor for Harps. Alas, it wasn’t the last time that night that an O’Connor would receive a yellow, nor was it the end of some reckless challenges from the Harps players.

Longford had an appeal for a penalty turned down on 40 minutes. A botched clearance from Harps deflected back off Jamie Hollywood into the box where it appeared that number 5, Keith Cowan handled the ball but despite protests from Chris Mulhall and De Town faithful, the ref waved play on. Hollywood followed it up with a close range shot but it was parried away and eventually saved on the line by Gallagher.

Town eventually equalized just before the half time whistle. The ever lively Dylan McGlade again, picked the ball up on the left wing, he played a one-two with Sam Verdon and rifled his shot low into the bottom corner to leave Harps reeling going into the break.

Dylan McGlade, scorer of Town’s goal on 45 minutes

Half time saw De Town make one substitution, Aodh Dervin, who played magnificently in midfield, seemed to have been targeted by the Harps players and was on the receiving end of some outrageous challenges, one which left him with a bloody nose and one which eventually led to him needing to be replaced. Evan Galvin came on in his place.

The second half continued like the first. Longford had the majority of possession and chances but failed to capitalize on them.

Darren Meenan came close with a cross in the opening seconds that seemed to catch Gallagher out as he tipped it over the bar for a corner.

Town had another call for a penalty again from a possible handball in the 50th minute. A Town corner was headed across goal from Tristan Noack-Hofmann, the ball seemed to hit McCourt’s hand and then bounce off a Harps defender standing on the goal line. A number of Town players immediately called out for a penalty but to no avail. Watching the video footage after, it appeared that the ball did in fact hit McCourt’s hand but whether or not the ref had a clear view is another story.

Mark Coyle was lucky not to be sent off for Finn Harps in the 69th minute after a two footed tackle on Evan Galvin brought the Cork man down. The Harps players immediately swarmed the referee and eventually it was Ciaran O’Connor who received a yellow card, presumably for his animated protests. The resulting free kick was blocked and it fell to McGlade whose cross was met by Sam Verdon but his header was easily gathered by Gallagher.

It was beginning to look like it just wasn’t meant to be Longford’s night. A corner kick in the 73rd minute saw Michael McDonnell’s header get flicked on by substitute Dean Byrne but his effort was, yep, you guessed it, cleared off the line by a Harps defender.

A speculative effort from Tristan Noack-Hofmann followed by a close range shot from Dylan McGlade wasn’t enough to snatch a winner for Longford. Heartbreak came once again in the dying moments for Longford.

A free in from Harps in the 90th minute saw the ball go over Michael McDonnell’s head into the arms of Town keeper Michael Kelly who dropped the ball, the ball hit the back of McDonnell’s leg and fell into the path of Sam Todd who slotted it into an empty net. And that was it.

A frustrating night in City Calling Stadium for Neale Fenn & Co. However, De Town can take some positives from the game even if they are only small ones. Aodh Dervin, before going off injured was immense in the midfield, Dylan McGlade had a blinder and Karl Chambers put in a Man of the Match performance. De Town are creating so many chances and it was one mistake that turned the game. In the end, it could have been 5-1 to Longford but that’s football for you.

Aodh Dervin had another great game for De Town before going off injured.

TEAM LINE-UPS

Longford Town: Kelly, Chambers, McDonnell, O’Reilly (C), Noack-Hofmann, McGlade, Dervin (Galvin 45’), Holywood (Zambra 85’), Meenan, Verdon, Mulhall (Byrne 70’)

Subs not used: Brady, Ridge, Ryan, O’Connor.

Finn Harps: Gallagher, Coyle, Todd, Timlin, Cowan, O’Connor (O’Flynn 60’), Friel, Coll (C), McBride, Banda (Devers 72’), McCourt (Toland 66’)

Attendance: 458


MATCH REPORT: Longford Town 0-2 UCD

Sun Apr 22nd 2018

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.

LINE-UPS

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).

Match pictures by Tiernan Dolan



MATCH REPORT: Town Under 15’s lose away to Cabinteely

Sun Apr 15th 2018

REPORT BY TONY GHEE

The U15’s played what turned out to be a very competitive game on Saturday in Kiltiernan and although both sides were battling it out for their first win of the season, it would be very fair to say that a lot of positive and entertaining football was played by both sides.

The game began as a close affair with both teams having chances, the better of which had fallen to Cabinteely inside the first 20 minutes. Cabinteely’s early dominance then led to by far the biggest chance of the game as Cabinteely were awarded a penalty after their right winger was judged to be fouled in the box.

The resulting penalty turned out to be the kick starter of Longford’s first purple patch of the game though, as the spot kick was blazed over the bar. Longford then pushed on and had a few very good chances of their own. Nick Palmer had a header that could be deemed the pick of these chances, as he headed inches wide from an excellent cross from Ben Grey.

Longford’s dominance was not to be rewarded though and Cabinteely capitalized, as they scored a very well worked goal just 5 minutes before the break. Again Cabinteely’s right winger played a big part in their positive attacking play, as his darting run in behind Longford’s defenders and quality pullback meant the chance they created was easily converted and the score was 1 nil to Cabinteely at half time.

Longford began the second-half with another strong period of dominance as they really piled the pressure on a defensively strong Cabo back four.

As they pushed for an equalizer, some very good chances were created through a mix of good build up play and early crosses, with Nick Palmer forcing a great save from the Cabo keeper. Then Josh Geogheann turned brilliantly before running through to a 1v1 chance which could’ve easily led to a goal only for an outstanding piece of last ditch defending.

The missed opportunities would again prove to be rued by Longford, as with 15 minutes to go, another swift attacking counter from Cabinteely put them 2 nil up.

The last 15 minutes of the game opened up as Longford chased a goal in an effort to try get back into the game, which led to chances at both ends, as Cabo had chances on the counter attack too.

Overall Longford may rue missed chances after the game, but ultimately the performance was a positive one and they go into next week with renewed confidence before their first home league game of the season, a Midlands Derby versus Athlone Town.

Squad list:

Dan Gilmour
Josh Kilkenny
Jason Glancy
Jack Tiernan (C)
Kyle Doughty
Aaron Brennan
Sam Hayden
Ben Grey
Josh Shiels
Nick Palmer
Josh Geogheann

Substitutes:
Cody Lee (GK)
Jack Casey
Conor Lynam
Dylan Lynch
Adam Reilly
Andrew Lynch
Cian Neary

MATCH REPORT: Drogheda United 1-1 Longford Town

Sat Apr 14th 2018

Match Report by Tony Ghee

Longford Town were on the cusp of a brilliant away victory over then league leaders Drogheda United when they agonisingly conceded a ninety-fifth minute equaliser with the second-last kick off the game, as they failed to clear a Brennan free-kick and centre-half Ciaran Kelly pounced to rifle home to the bottom corner to secure a draw.

Longford Town have now dropped three points in stoppage time this season, as they also conceded a ninety-third minute goal in the 3-2 away defeat to Shelbourne in Tolka Park.

Drogheda remained unchanged from the side that defeated UCD 2-0 last week, while Neale Fenn made two changes to the Longford team that beat Cabinteely 3-0 last week, as Adam O’Connor came in for the ill McDonnell and Dean Byrne started instead of Sam Verdon.

The action in the first half was mainly contained to the opening fifteen minutes with both sides creating chances. In the fifth minute, Town winger Galvin raced down the left and played the ball inside to Dervin whose twenty-five yard rising strike went just over the Drogheda bar.

Two minutes later, a curling right-wing free-kick from Drogheda midfielder Brennan picked out the unmarked Gallagher fifteen yards out from goal but he headed over the Town bar.

On nine minutes, the visitors attacked down the right and an Elworthy cross resulted in home defender Kelly’s headed clearance falling to Town striker Mulhall but his goalbound shot was brilliantly blocked out for a corner.

Drogheda’s second chance of the contest came in the twelfth minute when an excellent slide-rule pass from Brennan put in McCaffrey and his weak shot was spilled by Town keeper Kelly with the ball being put out for a corner that was easily dealt with by the Town defence.

The game quietened down for the rest of the half although some promising moves especially from the Town broke down with the final ball either slightly undercooked or slightly over cooked.

Longford almost broke the deadlock in the opening minute of the second-half when impressive striker Byrne’s low diagonal shot from the left-edge of the Drogheda box whistled inches wide of the far post with home keeper Skinner well beaten.

The ‘Red & Black’ took the lead on fifty-eight minutes with a sumptuous twenty-five yard thunderbolt from Byrne that rocketed to the bottom left-corner of the net after superb set-up play from substitute Chambers (another of the club’s players who has come through from the underage ranks).

Dean Byrne, who put Town ahead on 58 minutes

Drogheda nearly levelled matters on sixty-two minutes when Chambers was dispossessed by Doyle on the edge of the Longford box and McCaffrey’s goalbound shot was magnificently blocked by Town centre-half O’Reilly.

Two minutes later, Drogheda came close again. A superb ball from Brennan found Duffy on the right and his cross evaded the Town defence to locate Doyle on the right near the end-line inside the box, but his effort from a very tight angle saved by Kelly.

Drogheda piled on the pressure in the final twenty minutes and on eighty-six minutes, substitute striker Lyons headed a Kane cross straight at Town keeper Kelly.

A minute later, Town keeper Kelly produced a world class save as he somehow tipped a close range Ciaran Kelly header over the bar.

It looked like the visitors were going to come away with all three points but Drogheda were given one last chance to snatch a draw in the fifth and final minute of stoppage time. A Farragher ball into the danger area was misjudged by the otherwise excellent centre-half O’Connor with his attempted headed clearance and although O’Reilly headed the ball away, the ball landed at the feet of the impressive Drogheda centre-half Ciaran Kelly and he drilled a low sixteen yard strike to the bottom right corner of the Town net for a dramatic equaliser with the second last kick of the match.

The equalising hero Ciaran Kelly was Drogheda’s best player while young Aodh Dervin was the Town’s man-of-the-match, but there were several other excellent Town displays.

The result means that UCD are the new league leaders on 16 points after their 3-2 victory over Finn Harps, Drogheda drop to second with 14 points, Shels who lost to Cabinteely are third on 13 points, Longford Town and Galway United are next on 12 points to complete the top five.

Next up for Neale Fenn’s charges is next Saturday’s home match against new leaders UCD at the City Calling Stadium. The Town may be without Shane Elworthy who left the stadium on crutches after going over on his ankle, but hopefully, Peter Hopkins will recover from his knock in time for next weekend.

Drogheda United: Skinner, Gallagher, Farragher, Ciaran Kelly, Kane, Brennan, Purdy, Hyland, Doyle, McCaffrey, Duffy.
Substitutes: Deasy for Gallagher (69 minutes), Lyons for McCaffrey (67 minutes), Meaney for Purdy (80 minutes).

Longford Town: Mick Kelly, Elworthy, O’Reilly, O’Connor, Noack-Hofmann, Hopkins, Zambra, Dervin, Galvin, Byrne, Mulhall.
Substitutes: Chambers for Elworthy (55 minutes), McGlade for Hopkins (68 minutes), Verdon for Byrne (83 minutes).

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