Match Report by Tony Ghee
Longford Town moved into second place in the First Division after a 3-0 victory over Wexford FC at the City Calling Stadium as Chris Mulhall’s brace and a goal from Dylan McGlade sealed all three points for the Midlanders. Galway, Longford Town, UCD and Cobh all have four points at the top of the table after the first two rounds of matches.
The Town unlocked the Wexford defence on six minutes when brilliant play from Mulhall and Meenan created an opportunity for O’Connor who shot just wide from just inside the box.
The Town’s passing let them down as several promising moves petered out and then Wexford almost equalised on the twenty minute mark. An excellent pull-back from near the end-line by Kenny picked out Hurley who whipped in a cross but Dobb’s glancing header was straight at Town keeper Kelly.
Four minutes later, Wexford had another chance to rattle the Town net when Slater ran onto a long diagonal ball over the top of the Town defence and turned inside his marker to create the space for a shot, however, Town stopper Kelly dived bravely at his feet to push the ball away to safety.
In the twenty-seventh minute the Town had the visitors under severe pressure as they earned four successive corners, the last of which resulted in O’Reilly heading O’Connor’s corner just over the Wexford bar.
Longford took the lead on thirty-seven minutes when Elworthy’s fine cross was side-footed to the Wexford net by striker Mulhall for his second goal in two games for the ‘Red & Black’.
Neale Fenn’s charges were unlucky not to be two-up at the interval as a thirty-yard thunderbolt from Town midfielder Verdon struck the butt of the Wexford post.
Five minutes into the second-half, Dobbs beat the Town offside trap but Town Keeper Kelly raced out of his box to superbly clear the danger ahead of Dobbs.
Two minutes later, a Mulhall effort was smothered brilliantly by Wexford keeper Bolger.
The home side had a very lucky escape on fifty-five minutes when a stunning twenty-five yard shot from Dean Kelly sailed over the stranded Town keeper Michael Kelly only to comeback off the woodwork.
In the sixty-fourth minute, Bolger produced an outstanding save from Hopkin’s fifteen yard shot to keep his side in the game, and ten minutes later Hopkins again came close to doubling the Town’s lead only for his rasping twenty-two yard strike to crash against the Wexford post after a poor clearance from Wexford keeper Bolger.
The Town deservedly went two-nil up on eighty minutes when Mulhall slotted home his second goal of the contest after superb play from substitute McGlade.
Longford Town sealed the victory on eighty-five minutes with their third goal. Wexford defender Kenny headed a cross against his own post and McGlade pounced to hammer home the rebound.
It was nearly four-nil in stoppage time as a Hopkins cross was fired towards the roof of the net by substitute Byrne only for Bolger to tip the shot over the bar.
Next up for Longford Town is a trip to Tolka Park next Friday to take on Shelbourne who include Longford Town’s all time highest goalscorer Davy O’Sullivan in their squad.
Longford Town: Kelly, Elworthy, McDonnell, O’Reilly, Noack-Hofmann, Zambra, Hopkins, Verdon, O’Connor, Meenan, Mulhall.
Substitutions: McGlade for Meenan (63 minutes), Byrne for O’Connor (71 minutes), Dervin for Verdon (88 minutes)
Scorers: Mulhall (’37, ’80) McGlade (’85)
Wexford FC: Bolger, McCormack, Ross Kenny, Sean Kelly, Hurley, Slater, Croke, Byrne, Dean Kelly, Chris Kenny, Dobbs.
Substitutions: Wall for Croke (71 minutes), Doyle for Kenny (81 minutes).