Match Report by James Donnelly
Longford Town sealed their first victory of the year with an impressive 3-1 win over Premier Division maestros Cork City at the Lotamore grounds today.
An own goal and goals from Paul O’Conor and Adam Evans saw the Red and Black take the win home following the ‘home’ sides opener.
Both teams started the game slowly with Cork having the better of the opportunities in the opening 20 minutes. Goalkeeper Jack Menton was forced to pull off a couple of great saves early. Aaron Dobbs held up the ball well for Longford and played a central role in the attacks for De Town.
Cork looked the more likely to score first and they did on 23 minutes when Sean McLoughlin headed past Menton from a corner after he wasn’t picked up at the back post.
Credit to Longford, they battled back and immediately began to press John Caulfield’s side. Karl Chambers and Shane Elworthy linked up well on the right hand side and caused problems for Cork throughout the first half.
It wasn’t long before we got the equalizer. A stroke of luck for us and misfortune for Cork, saw a backpass bobble in front of McNulty in goal and go straight under his legs and into the back of the net on 34 minutes to put De Town back on level terms.
The new-look Longford side didn’t stop there and immediately went on the attack again. Some nice, fast flowing football had Cork on the backfoot and it didn’t take long before Longford got their second. A counter attack saw Karl Chambers break down the right wing before playing it in to Paul O’Conor who laid it off to Adam Evans on the left flank. Evans swung in a wide cross and O’Conor was on the end of it to make it 2-1 to De Town.
Cork had the chance to equalize only moments later when they were awarded a penalty. Town goalkeeper Jack Menton had other ideas and stopped the shot brilliantly.[caption id="attachment_20196" align="aligncenter" width="486"] Aodh Dervin pictured last season against Cork City during the FAI Cup match at City Calling Stadium.[/caption]
Longford’s third goal came just before half time when another swift counter attack saw Aaron Dobbs take the ball down just outside the centre cirlce before laying it off to O’Conor who played Adam Evans in behind the Cork defence where he made no mistake in slotting it by McNulty who made it 3-1 to De Town.
The second half saw a lot of changes for both sides with each using all of their respective subs. Cork began the second half with intent and bombarded Longford with pressure. Goalkeeper Lee Steacy was forced into a couple of good saves early on.
Cork tried but couldn’t break through the Longford defence. Tristan Noack-Hofmann and Michael McDonnell cleaned up in the centre while Anto Breslin and sub Tumelo Tlou impressed.
The game finished 3-1 to Longford and although it’s only pre-season, this was a fantastic result for Neale Fenn’s side and should be a major confidence booster going into Tuesday’s friendly with league and cup champions Dundalk at Oriel Park.
Cork City: McNulty (GK), Phillips, Casey, Barry, McLoughlin, Griffin, McCormack, Morrissey, Buckley, Tilley, Rainsford.
Subs: Harrington, Horgan, McCarthy, Bennett, Kavanagh, Hurley, Comerford, O’Connor, Cummins, Coughlan.
Longford Town: Menton (GK), Breslin, Manley, Kenna, Chambers, Dervin, Zambra, Elworthy, Dobbs, O’Conor, Evans.
Subs: Steacy (GK), Noack-Hofmann, Doyle, O’Sullivan, Fitzsimons, Tlou, O’Neill.