Match Report by Tony Ghee
Longford Town 1-1 UCD
Longford Town scorer: (O’Sullivan, pen, 22)
UCD scorer: (Manley 70)
Despite dominating the majority of the contest, Longford Town had to settle for a share of the spoils at the City Calling Stadium as they drew one all with third placed UCD, a result that keeps the students six points clear of the Town and virtually assures them of a top three finish.
The visitors created the first two chances of the contest on twelve and thirteen minutes. Firstly, a right-wing cross from Manley picked out centre-half Scales, but his header was well saved by Town keeper Brady. A minute later, UCD striker Georgie Kelly cut in from the right and unleashed a shot from a tight angle that hit the side netting.
Somewhat against the run of play, Longford took the lead on twenty-two minutes when UCD defender Maxi Kouogun handled inside the box and Town striker Davy O’Sullivan slotted home the penalty for his 80th competitive goal for the ‘Red and Black’.
Both O’Sullivan and Kehoe came close to extending the Town’s advantage as they turned the screw on the visitors but they had to settle for a one goal interval lead.
Just after the break, a long ball over the top of the Town defence put in striker Kelly one-on-one with Town keeper Brady with Brady producing an excellent save to keep his goal intact.
A stunning four-man move on the hour mark almost produced a second goal for the home side. Jake Kelly weaved his way down the left, spun around and played a smart pass back to Kehoe, Kehoe sprayed the ball across to Verdon who delivered an excellent ball to Simon on the right wing drawing defenders away from him, and Simon cleverly played the ball back to Verdon who blazed his shot over the bar from the edge of the UCD box.
Verdon came close again seven minutes later when his header from a Kehoe cross was smartly saved by UCD keeper Corbet.
The Town’s missed opportunities came back to haunt them in the sixty-ninth minute as UCD drew level. A corner from the right slipped through the grasp of Town keeper Brady and a goalmouth scramble ensued with Longford failing to clear their lines and eventually Manley prodded home the equaliser.
A brilliant move almost put the home side back in front on eighty minutes as O’Sullivan and Simon carved open the UCD rearguard with a superb one-two that left Simon with just keeper Corbet to beat, but his lifted shot over the flailing arms of the diving UCD custodian spun agonisingly wide of the near post.
The visitors nearly snatched a winner on eighty-six minutes when a powerful twenty-yard strike from UCD substitute O’Connor was brilliantly saved by the agile Brady.
Longford Town: Brady, Chambers, Gorman, O’Reilly, Kehoe, Cowan, Dervan, Zambra, Simon, Verdon, O’Sullivan.
Substitutes: Kelly for Cowan (56 minutes), Hofmann for Kehoe (78 minutes).
UCD: Corbet, Tobin, Kouogun, Scales, Osam, Manley, O’Neill, Molloy, McClelland, Kelly, Kavanagh.
Substitutes: O’Connor for Kavanagh (half-time), Hanrahan for Manley.