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.
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).