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Match Report: Sligo Rovers 0-1 Longford Town (FAI Cup 1st Rnd)

Sun Aug 12th 2018

Match Report by James Donnelly

Irish Daily Mail FAI Cup First Round

Sligo Rovers FC 0-1 Longford Town FC

11/08/18, The Showgrounds, 7.45pm

Longford Town FC dumped Sligo Rovers out of the FAI Cup in the first round for the second successive year on Friday night as Jamie Hollywoods 65th minute goal was enough to seal the victory for the Red and Black at the Showgrounds.

On a wet and windy night, De Town got some bad news before the whistle was even blown, Shane Elworthy picking up a knock and having to be replaced in the starting eleven by Tristan Noack-Hofmann.

Longford had the opening chance of the game straight from tip-off. Gaining posession, Aodh Dervin (who had a terrific game in midfield) found Dylan McGlade who turned his man and shot from inside, forcing the early save from Beeney in the Sligo goal.

Sligo could have opened the scoring only moments later when David Cawley found himself free in the box but his speculative shot from the right side took a deflection and bounced narrowly wide of the Longford goal.

Town keeper Michael Kelly was yellow carded in the 12th minute after mistakenly picking the ball up outside his own box. The resulting free came to nothing in the end but he will want to forget about that one!

Neale Fenn was forced to make another unplanned early change when Sam Verdon had to go off with what looked like a nasty ankle injury. The challenge on Verdon warranted a yellow card to be produced and the recently returned Peter Hopkins came on in place. Verdon had been performing well up to that point, winning the ball in the air to lay if off to McGlade and Meenan on the wings. Longford will hope that the injury isn’t as serious as it looked as Verdon has played a key role in the hunt for promotion this season.

Rovers had a glorious opportunity to go 1-0 up on 32 minutes. A corner from McCabe was met in the air by Callan-McFadden but his header hit the cross bar and was cleared away from danger. A real let off for Longford but they can thank Michael Kelly who seemed to have gotten the slightest of touches to tip it on to the cross bar. One of many saves he would have to make throughout the night.

While Sligo pushed forward, Longford didn’t give them too much time on the ball and applied pressure. Peter Hopkins went close on 40 minutes when the ball broke on the halfway line to send him clear but he never fully connected with the ball and his shot drifted wide of Beeney’s post.

[caption id="attachment_18776" align="aligncenter" width="740"] Karl Chambers in action during last years FAI Cup win over Sligo Rovers at the City Calling Stadium.[/caption]

Longford had a shout for a penalty on 43 minutes, Jamie Hollywood on the end of a challenge just on the edge of the box. Town fans called for a peno but on inspection of the replay, it was evidently a yard or so outside the area. The resulting free from Daniel O’Reilly was straight into the hands of Beeney.

Going in 0-0 at half time, many Longford supporters were optimistic that the team could pull off another win, following on from last seasons cup win over Sligo at the City Calling Stadium.

Sligo started the second half with a purpose and could have taken the lead only a few minutes in when Mikey Drennan got free down the left hand side before turning in past Karl Chambers but his low flying shot rattled the bottom of the far post and bounced straight back into Kellys hands.

Dylan McGlade, who many were calling man of the match after another skillful display, had the opportunity to put Longford in the driving seat on 62 minutes. His long range effort stinging the hands of Beeney in goal who put it out for a corner.

Town supporters didn’t have to wait long for a goal to come though. Only 3 minutes later, McGlade once again produced a moment of magic when he rounded the Sligo defender on the touch line before playing it back to Jamie Hollywood who cooly slotted it into the far corner. Beeney should have done better but full credit to Longford, they kept up the pressure and it paid off.

From then on, Rovers began to mount attack after attack. Michael Kelly, who could have gotten a look in for man of the match also, was forced to save on a number of occasions for Longford and kept the side in it. Up the other end, McGlade went close again, shooting from the right side, his curled shot was palmed away by Beeney for a corner.

While Sligo tried and tried, Longford’s defence held firm. The Bit O’Red couldn’t break down the back 4 and it became evident when they resorted to long balls straight up the top in the last 10 minutes. Mikey Drennan had one last chance for Sligo after he raced through on goal but Michael Kelly was there again, this time denying him with a brilliant save using his foot.

Overall, a great night for Neale Fenn and Co, who will need all the positivity and momentum they can get going into Friday night’s game away against Galway United in the run in for a promotion playoff spot.

Sligo Rovers: Beeney, Twardek, Callan-McFadden, Mahon, McClean, Donelon, Cawley, McCabe (c), Lynch, Cretaro, Drennan

Subs: McGinty, Sharkey, Keaney (replaced Mahon), Wixted, McAleer (replaced Cretaro), Kerrigan, Morrison.

Longford Town: Kelly, Noack-Hofmann, O’Reilly, McDonnell, Chambers, Meenan, Zambra (c), Hollywood, Dervin, McGlade, Verdon.

Subs: Kelly, Hopkins (replaced Verdon), Ryan, O’Neill, O’Connor, Dillon, Temolo.

Match Report: Shelbourne FC 6-1 Longford Town FC

Sat Jul 28th 2018

Match Report by James Donnelly

Longford Town FC suffered their heaviest defeat of the 2018 season on Friday night as Neale Fenn’s 10 man team went down 6-1 to Shelbourne at Tolka Park. De Town came into the game off the back of a comfortable 3-0 win at home to Wexford FC last week so confidence was high going into the game.

Shelbourne had the first chance of the night, when former Town player and club record goal-scorer David O’Sullivan’s glancing header went wide of the post. From then, Longford settled into the game and began a period of pressure on the home team. New Town signing and former Shelbourne man Jamie Doyle went close, only being denied by the hands of Dean Delany in goal. Dylan McGlade caused problems on the wing along with Karl Chambers and Shane Elworthy on the opposite side.

Against the run of play however, Shelbourne got their first goal of the night just before half time, when a free in to the box was met in the air by Dave Mulcahy who flicked it into the far corner to head home.

Town immidiately responded in the second half and got the equalizer 5 minutes in. Tristan Noack-Hofmann made a great run down the left wing before cutting inside and earning a corner. McGlades delivery was met by Michael McDonnell who’s header towards goal fell to Sam Verdon who tapped it in from close range to level things up.

[caption id="attachment_18422" align="aligncenter" width="521"] Sam Verdon celebrates scoring Longford Town’s equalizer. Photo: Ken Keenan Photography[/caption]

From then on, things went downhill. Shelbourne got their second of the night on 68 minutes when a good break saw the ball driven across the box before it fell to Karl Moore on the left who drove it under the legs of both Elworthy and Kelly in the Town goal.

A moment of madness only 2 minutes later saw the home side get their 3rd goal of the night. Daniel O’Reilly picked up the ball in the centre circle, holding posession, he turned back towards Sam Verdon to pass it off. As he did, the ref ran towards him and the ball ricocheted off him and into the path of a Shels man who sent David O’Sullivan through 1 on 1 with Kelly and the former Longford record goal scorer made no mistake in slotting it home, much to the anger of the travelling support and assistant Manager Daire Doyle who was inevitably sent to the stand.

Doyle went close again for Longford, this time turning on to his left foot inside the Shels box and forcing Delany to pull off a stunning save from close range. Things went from bad to worse for De Town however, Doyle was harshly sent off follwing an exchange with the ref after he had been deemed to have fouled a Shelbourne player.

Shels then took control of the game in the last quarter. Karl Moore completed his hat-trick to make it 5-1 before the Dublin side were awarded a soft penalty in the last few minutes in which James English cooly shot low to the left to make it 6.

A tough, tough night for Neale Fenn and co.

TEAM LINE-UPS

Shelbourne: Dean Delany, John Ross Wilson, Dave Mulcahy, Lorcan Fitzgerald, Aidan Collins, Karl Moore, Mark Hughes, Adam Evans, Gavin Boyne, David O’Sullivan, James English

Subs: Lee Steacy, Dayle Rooney, James O’Brien (sub for Gavin Boyne), Greg Moorehouse, Reece McEnteer(sub for Aidan Collins), Cian Kavanagh, Shane Farrell

Longford Town: Michael Kelly, Shane Elworthy, Michael McDonnell, Daniel O’Reilly, Tristan Noack-Hofmann, Dylan McGlade, Jamie Hollywood, Aodh Dervin, Karl Chambers, Sam Verdon, Jamie Doyle (Red Card)]

Subs: Ben Kelly, Darren Meenan (sub for Jamie Hollywood), Eoin O’Neill (sub for Sam Verdon), Evan O’Connor, Dean Dillon (sub for Karl Chambers), Dean Zambra, Warren Mitchell.

Hear from Longford Town FC Manager Neale Fenn after the game: https://soundcloud.com/longford-town-tv/post-match-interview-with-neale-fenn-shelbourne-fc-270718

Match Report: Finn Harps 2-4 Longford Town FC

Tue Jun 5th 2018

SSE Airtricity League First Division
Finn Harps 2-4 Longford Town
Monday 4th June 2018
City Calling Stadium / 5.00pm

Match Report by James Donnelly

Longford Town rolled into Ballybofey yesterday evening high on momentum from the previous Friday’s brilliant win over Galway United at home. A trip up to Donegal only 3 days later seemed like a daunting task but De Town came away 4-2 winners in Finn Park in what was a physical, back and forth encounter.

Longford applied pressure on the northerners from the get go and there wasn’t more than 5 minutes on the clock when local star Aodh Dervin volleyed home from a Sam Verdon headed pass to put De Town 1-0 up. Dervin’s second goal in as many games for the club.

From then on, it was all Finn Harps. Ollie Horgan’s men began to hold possession and attack the Longford Town defence, Ciaran O’Connor going close from distance on 11 minutes, and Jesse Devers being denied by the finger tips of Town keeper Michael Kelly only a few moments later.

Sam Verdon could have put Longford 2-0 up on 14 minutes when a good solo run from the midfield saw the Dublin man’s shot hit the post of Ciaran Gallagher’s goal and bounce back out. A let off for the Donegal team.

Dylan McGlade got Longford’s second on the half hour mark when a beautifully placed pass from Dean Byrne found the pacy winger who easily slipped it past Gallagher in goal to put Longford in control.

Finn Harps had calls for a penalty waved away not too long after when Devers went down from what appeared to be an ok challenge from Dervin but Eoghan O’Shea immediately signalled no peno, much to the delight of the Longford Town travelling support and the dismay of Ollie Horgan.

The home side came out all guns blazing in the second half and it wasn’t long before they got their first goal back in the game. A challenge from Town defender Daniel O’Reilly resulted in a penalty for Finn Harps which Paddy McCourt duly put away with ease to get them back into the game. Only 4 minutes later, Harps got their equaliser when a through ball to Mikey Place saw him slip in behind the Town defence to slot it past Kelly to make it 2-2.

[caption id="attachment_17802" align="aligncenter" width="579"]               Dylan McGlade pictured scoring his second goal of the night and Longford Town’s fourth. Pic: Ken Keenan[/caption]

But Longford were having none of it. De Town marched straight back up the pitch from tip off and won a corner. The resulting cross was hit across the box to Dean Byrne who swung it back in to the head of Sam Verdon who headed home from close range to put Neale Fenn’s men back in the driving seat. Dean Byrne’s second assist of the game.

McGlade stunned the home support again with a brilliant solo effort on 80 minutes. Picking the ball up in the centre circle, he dribbled down field with speed before turning his man and blasting it low into the corner of the net to cement the win for Longford Town.

The game ended 4-2 in favour of De Town but not without controversy, a Finn Harps man being sent off after the final whistle, first for a kick at substitute Jamie Hollywood and then a disgusting headbutt on substitute Chris Mulhall.

Poor sportsmanship on display at the end of a great game for Longford Town.

TEAM LINE-UPS

Finn Harps: Ciaran Gallagher, Aidan Friel, Ciaran Coll (C), Keith Cowan, Jesse Devers, Ciaran O’Connor, Tommy McBride (red card), Mark Timlin, Paddy McCourt, Sam Todd.

Longford Town: Michael Kelly, Shane Elworthy, Daniel O’Reilly, Michael McDonnell, Tristan Noack-Hofmann, Dylan McGlade, Aodh Dervin, Dean Zambra (C), Dean Byrne, Sam Verdon, Karl Chambers

Subs: Jack Brady, Peter Hopkins (used), Chris Mulhall (used), Evan Galvin, Jamie Hollywood (used), Jackson Ryan.

Attendance: 545

Match Report: Longford Town FC 3-2 Galway United

Sat Jun 2nd 2018

SSE Airtricity League First Division

Longford Town FC 3-2 Galway United

Friday 1st June 2018
City Calling Stadium |  7:45PM

Match Report by James Donnelly

 

19 year old local star Aodh Dervin shined brightly at the City Calling Stadium last Friday night as Longford Town ran out 3-2 winners over Galway United. Dervin, alongside man of the match Sam Verdon and Karl Chambers all picked up a goal each to earn Neale Fenn’s men all 3 points in what was an exciting back and forth encounter. Two goals also for Galway, a missed penalty and a sending off for Longford Town made the game one to remember for the 410 there to witness it at the Strokestown Road venue.

Longford started the game brightly with Dervin missing a chance just a few minutes in. Dylan McGlade’s cross was poorly cleared by former Town defender Stephen Walsh and it fell to Dervin on the edge of the box who blasted it over the bar. He made up for that miss not too long after when Dean Byrne found him near enough in the same position and this time he made no mistake, bending the ball into the far corner of the Galway net to put Longford Town 1-0 up with less than 10 minutes gone on the clock. A brilliant goal and a memorable one for the young Longford man’s first at senior level.

Galway almost immediately equalized straight after, a long throw in from the left side was headed on by Eoin McCormack to Gary Shanahan but his impressive effort was brilliantly saved by the fingertips of Town goalkeeper Michael Kelly who went on to make a number of key saves during the game.

The every lively Dylan McGlade created problems for Galway throughout and his crosses in the first half caused major headaches for Shane Keegan’s men, Tristan Noack-Hofmann going close with a header as a result of a McGlade corner.

Longford Town’s Shane Elworthy pictured in action during De Town’s 3-2 victory over Galway at the City Calling Stadium. Pic: Tiernan Dolan

Gary Shanahan and Eoin McCormack linked up again for Galway on 32 minutes, Shanahan beating Noack-Hofmann on the right side before putting in a cross that met the feet of McCormack who had gotten between the two centre backs Daniel O’Reilly and Michael McDonnell, but his shot from 5 yards out was hit high and over as Town escaped a possible equalizer for the tribesmen.

Town pressured Galway and didn’t allow them much time on the bal in the first halfl. The westerners struggled to clear and Darren Meenan gaining possession in the corner, played it across to Dean Byrne who’s shot was blocked by Walsh at the last second.

Aodh Dervin could have had his second of the night on 40 minutes when McGlade broke down the right wing before laying it inside to Noack-Hofmann who slipped it to Dervin but his shot was straight into the hands of Gleeson in goal.

Galway still managed to create chances with Eoin McCormack going close again on 42 minutes, this time for 30 yards out, his shot narrowly going wide of Michael Kelly’s right hand post.

It could have been 2-0 to Longford immediately after when centre back Michael McDonnell went up for a Darren Meenan free on the right hand side but his looping header was brilliantly tipped over the bar by Gleeson.

Town eventually got their second just before half time when Sam Verdon struck low into the bottom right corner. A brilliant header by McGlade landed at the feet of Dean Byrne who slipped Verdon in behind the Galway defence and he made no mistake in slotting it by Gleeson to put Longford ahead, much to the delight of the home support who were loud throughout.

Longford suffered a major blow right at the half time whistle when Darren Meenan was given a straight red on what appeared to be a reckless challenge on Galway’s Conor Barry. No contact was made but referee Thomas Dempsey deemed it serious enough to issue the Dublin man a red card.

With Longford down to 10 men, Galway came out all guns blazing and proceeded to rain down attacks on the Town defence. Alex Byrne going close in the opening minutes, his shot from the edge of the box going wide after being deflected off his fellow team-mate McCormack.

[caption id="attachment_17716" align="aligncenter" width="517"] Sam Verdon who scored Longford’s second, pictured alongside former Town player Stephen Walsh.[/caption]

Dean Byrne missed a glorious opportunity to put the game to bed when on 50 minutes, he intercepted a bad pass from Galway’s Robbie Williams, went by the defender and ended up 6 yards out from goal but his left footed shot was blazed over the bar, much to the relief of the travelling Galway support.

Galway got one back on 56 minutes when Dylan McGlade, who had been playing superb, was caught in possession by McCormack, the ball fell to Conor Barry who went through on goal and expertly put it past Michael Kelly to make it 2-1. A lapse in concentration that luckily didn’t cost Longford in the end.

Again, McCormack was in the thick of it for Galway, this time winning a soft free kick against Longford’s McDonnell. The resultant free kick however, was straight into the hands of Kelly. Only minutes later, Marc Ludden went close for the Connaught side, his dragging shot going wide of the post.

Galway were given a very generous lifeline on 64 minutes when former Town player Ryan Connolly was awarded a penalty. The number 10 jumped up between Longford’s two centre backs after a botched clearance and fell hard on the ground which saw Dempsey blow his whistle, much to the astonishment of the Town players and supporters. Up stepped Alan Murphy who sky rocketed his shot high over the bar.

Ludden went close for Galway again, this time a 1-2 between McCormack and Connolly saw the ball land at the feet of Ludden in the box who’s shot brought a fine save from Kelly in the Longford goal. Kelly, proving invaluable during the game.

Longford finally got their third goal on 79 minutes when some lax defending from Galway saw the ball fall to substitute Jamie Hollywood on the edge of the box, he played it into Sam Verdon who laid it off to Karl Chambers who chested it down and volleyed it low past Gleeson, hitting the post, it came back out and hit Williams before ending up in the back of the net. Some would call it an own goal but we’re giving it to Chambers!

Galway got their second eight minutes later when a high ball wasn’t dealt with, the ball landed to Stephen Walsh who made no mistake hitting a powerful shot low into the bottom corner to make it 3-2 with 5 minutes remaining, hearts in their mouths for Longford fans.

Daniel O’Reilly almost made it 4-2 in injury time, his free kick from the edge of the box was saved by Glesson before Hollywood missed the rebound. Summing up Galways night, The free had been awarded after Gleeson had mistakenly walked outside his box while holding the ball, although no yellow card was issued.

The final whistle blew and City Calling Stadium erupted. A well needed win for Longford Town which puts them right back in contention for a promotion spot. Manager Neale Fenn said he was delighted with the team’s performance and result but stressed how important it is to follow it up with a good result in Finn Park on bank holiday Monday when Town travel to Ballybofey to take on Finn Harps.

Longford Town: Michael Kelly, Shane Elworthy, Michael McDonnell, Daniel O’Reilly, Tristan Noack-Hofmann, Dylan McGlade (replaced by Karl Chambers), Dean Zambra (C), Aodh Dervin, Darren Meenan (red card), Sam Verdom (replaced by Evan Galvin), Dean Byrne (replaced by Jamie Hollywood)

Subs not used: Jack Brady, Daniel Ridge, Jackson Ryan.

Galway United: Conor Gleeson, Maurice Nugent (replaced by Conor Melody), Robbie Williams, Stephen Walsh, Gary Shanahan, Alex Byrne (replaced by Stephen Kenny), Alan Murphy, Ryan Connolly ©, Marc Ludden, Conor Barry (replaced by Carlton Ubaezuonu), Eoin McCormack

Subs not used: Arek Mamala, Conor Layng, Ronan Manning.

Referee: Thomas Dempsey

Attendance: 410

Red Cards: (1) – Darren Meenan/Longford Town FC

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2018 SSE Airtricity League First Division

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UCD Bowl

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