Match Report by Tony Ghee
Longford Town got their promotion push back on track with a comfortable three-nil victory over Wexford FC at the City Calling Stadium to move within a point of fourth placed Shelbourne, and to within three points of third placed Finn Harps. After a scoreless first-half, a second-half brace from McGlade and another second-half goal from Noack-Hofmann who deflected home an O’Reilly strike gave the ‘Red and Black’ all three valuable points.
The Town had the first chance of the contest after just three minutes when a superb Elworthy ball over the top of the Wexford defence released Verdon down the right, he cut inside and fired a low, diagonal shot that just whistled inches wide of the far post.
Wexford almost found the Town net in the sixth minute when an arching George header at the back post was brilliantly palmed away by Town stopper Kelly.
Danny O’Reilly tried his luck on sixteen minutes with a long range strike that was only just too high, and although the Town dominated possession for the rest of the half and created several half chances, Wexford keeper Chambers endured no danger until the forty-third minute. Chambers cleverly created space for himself down the right and his perfectly weighted cross picked out Verdon but his header was saved by Chambers.
The Town got off to the perfect start to the second half when they took the lead within a minute of the resumption. Verdon raced into the box on the right and his low cross deflected off a Wexford defender into the path of McGlade and he drilled home the opening goal.
On fifty minutes, Danny O’Reilly nearly doubled the Town’s advantage with a twenty yard half-volley that went narrowly wide after shaving the post.
Longford should have gone two-up on fifty-six minutes when a Chambers cross bounced off the chest of Wexford defender Cahill and landed at the feet of unmarked Town striker Dillon just ten yards out from goal, but he somehow blazed well over when he should have scored.
However, Dillon made amends just three minutes later when his battling tenacity from a McGlade free-kick helped him to set up O’Reilly whose shot from just inside the box, defected off Noack-Hofmann into the net to put Longford two goals clear.
It got even better for the home side on sixty-six minutes when Elworthy’s excellent cross was guided to the net from close range by McGlade for his second off the night and the Town’s third.
Jamie Doyle should have made it four shortly afterwards but he shot straight at Chambers in a one-on-one situation.
Town keeper Kelly easily saved a twenty-five yard curling effort from Wexford’s Masood on eighty-five minutes, and the home side cruised home to secure a well deserved triumph.
Next up for Neale Fenn’s charges is a mouthwatering trip to Tolka Park next Friday to take on promotion rivals Shelbourne.
Longford Town: Kelly, McDonnell, Noack-Hofmann, O’Reilly, Dervin, Elworthy, Hollywood, Chambers, Verdon, Dillon, McGlade.
Substitutions: Doyle for Dillon (65 minutes), Ryan for Chambers (71 minutes),
Wexford FC: Chambers, McCarten, Cahill, Kelly, Morgan, Masood, Byrne, Sutton, O’Connor, George, Nugent.
Substitutions: Smithers for O’Connor (61 minutes), O’Reilly for Kelly (77 minutes)