Tag: Aodh Dervin

Aodh Dervin hoping to emulate cup heroes of 2004…

Tue Aug 13th 2019

Interview by James Donnelly

Longford Town’s Aodh Dervin hoping to emulate Cup heroes of 2004…

Longford Town’s homegrown midfield maestro, Aodh Dervin was just 4 years old when his club retained the FAI Cup way back in 2004 with a dramatic 2-1 win over Waterford United at the old, iconic Landsdowne Road.

A Town fan from birth, the 20 year old spoke fondly of his vivid memories of the time, recalling seeing the Longford players arrive at the stadium all suited up and ready for action.

“I was only four years old but I remember all the players, Sean Prunty, Eric Lavine…I remember them all coming out in suits and it was really professional and it was a moment that’s stuck with me since then and it drives me on in a way…”

Now, 15 years later, one of the brightest prospects’ that the midlands club has produced in recent years, is hoping to emulate his old heroes by going all the way and winning the coveted cup in the Aviva Stadium and fulfilling a boyhood dream.

“I think anyone that has any ambition of being a footballer (in Ireland) dreams of that so it’s obviously always been a goal of mine and it would be even more special to do it with Longford especially with our history.”

Longford have a rich history in this competition, having won it twice in the early 2000’s and been finalists four times. Having had a decent run last year under the guidance of manager Neale Fenn, Longford had some terrific wins in the cup, beating Sligo Rovers in the first round for the second consecutive year and defeating Shelbourne at home in the second round before bowing out to a superior Cork City side in the quarter final although an early sending off didn’t help the Red and Black. A crowd of over 1100 were in attendance and while the final result was one to forget for Dervin, his performance for the Town showed everyone that he’s capable of playing at the top level in our league. However, with the Town chasing promotion and welcomign Shelbourne to the City Calling only 4 days after their cup game on Tuesday, potential opponents and revenge isn’t on the mind of the young player.

“We all know that promotion is our main aim but I think these cup games are good, we want to keep the momentum going and the only way we can do that is by playing and winning…obviously you’d want to get revenge on Cork and you always want to play against the best players but I haven’t really thought about it. We’ve Athlone on Tuesday and that’s our main focus.”

With tomorrow’s game being the fourth ‘El Clasico’ of 2019 and with Longford having won the last three and obtaining a 5-1 win only last week, Dervin is aware that the midlands derby is not quite what it used to be but insists that he and the team will still prepare the same way as usual.

“Obviously the rivalry isn’t what it was a few years ago when Athlone were doing well, I remember going to games as a fan and busses of Athlone fans would be travelling but it doesn’t matter, we treat Athlone the same as any other team. I motivate myself by not wanting to lose any game as I hate losing and I’m a sore one at that but beating Athlone will always feel that bit sweeter for me and always will.”

[caption id="attachment_22270" align="aligncenter" width="732"] Aodh Dervin pictured in action against Cork City last year during our FAI Cup quarter final clash at the City Calling Stadium.[/caption]

With league leaders Shelbourne losing out to Cobh last week, their lead at the top is down to 5 points. They will travel to Longford on Saturday night in what could be both clubs biggest game of the season, just a few days Longford are in cup action. When asked if he still believed ‘De Town’ could win the league, Dervin revealed the team are just taking it one game at the time.

“This is the biggest game of the season for us, and with Shels slipping up in Cobh, we’re looking to close the gap even more by beating them. Then there will only be 2 points between us so we just need to take it game by game and see how it folds out..”

Kick off at the City Calling Stadium tonight is 7.45pm.



Match Preview | FAI Cup | Longford Town v Athlone Town

Sat Aug 10th 2019

Match Preview by James Donnelly

Extra.ie FAI Cup First Round

Longford Town FC v Athlone Town AFC

Saturday 10th August 2019 • Kick-off 7.30pm

City Calling Stadium

The final El Clasico of 2019 sees Athlone Town come to the City Calling Stadium tonight, still feeling the effects of their 5-1 league defeat at the hands of the Red and Black last week.

With goals coming from Aodh Dervin, Anto Breslin, Sean Boyd, Peter Hopkins and Sam Verdon, De Town easily dispatched of our near neighbours with Athlone pulling back the single consolation goal due to a mistake by Verdon in injury time, a mistake he made up for by scoring Longford’s fifth goal from the penalty spot only moments later.

The turn-around time between games may not be enough for Athlone to change things up and possibly pull off a win tonight, unless Town boss Neale Fenn opts to rest key players ahead of our huge league game at home to Shelbourne next week. Anything can happen in the cup so don’t expect a similiar game to last week in Athlone.

Going on recent form, De Town are clear favourites with our win last week and a good win over Galway United the previous week, whereas Athlone have struggled in the league and had their last win at the start of July over Wexford FC at home.

[caption id="attachment_22183" align="aligncenter" width="658"] Longford Town players celebrate Aodh Dervin’s opening goal during last week’s El Clasico in which De Town defeated Athlone 5-1. Pic: Ken Keenan[/caption]

Speaking to LTFC.ie ahead of tonight’s big cup clash, Manager Neale Fenn stated how important it was to not dwell on last week’s game, as anything can happen in the cup.

“It’s gonna be difficult you know, forget the result last week, we might have caught them on an off day, it’s gonna be a difficult game, Athlone came at us last week for a period and gave us a little bit of trouble.”

Since Longford Town’s foundation, we have met Athlone four times in the FAI Cup, with two of those ties going to replays. Out of the six games in total, De Town have won five games with Athlone winning one. Our biggest FAI Cup win over Athlone came in 2004 in the quarter final replay when we won 3-0 away thanks to goals from Shane Barrett, Alan Murphy and Phillip Keogh.

Team news: Jack Doherty is OK to feature and could be on the bench tonight after recovering from his ankle injury. Other than that, Longford have a full selection to choose from.



Match Report: Cabinteely FC 2-0 Longford Town FC

Sat Jul 20th 2019

Match Report by James Donnelly

Longford Town missed out on all three points last night thanks to a Robert Manley brace that sealed the victory for Cabinteely in a tightly contested affair in Stradbrook.

De Town started the game brightly with Aaron Dobbs having the first major chance of the game after just 6 minutes. A long ball over the top was brought down by Sam Verdon who did well to play it into Dobbs in the box but his half-volley was straight at Stephen McGuinness in the Cabo goal who palmed it away to safety.

The home side pressured Longford and had a chance of their own on 24 minutes when a high ball was flashed across the box but Paul Fox’s connected header was high and over, much to the relief of Lee Steacy in goal.

Longford could have opened the scoring only minutes later when Conor Kenna snuck in un-marked at the back post and headed towards goal but it was easily gathered by McGuinness.

Cabinteely eventually got their goal after a period of sustained pressure on the Longford backline. Rob Manley got in between the defence and had his initial shot saved well by Lee Steacy but he recovered to slot it home from a tight angle to put Pat Devlin’s side in the driving seat after 36 minutes.

Town could have been on level terms just before half time when Karl Chambers played in Aaron Dobbs in the box but the Wexford’s man shot was blocked when it seemed destined for the goal.

The second half saw a number of changes for Longford with Aaron Dobbs and Karl Chambers being replaced by Dean Byrne and De Town’s newest signing, Sean Boyd. (On loan from Shamrock Rovers)

Sam Verdon had a chance on 58 minutes when he did well down the right side, getting into the box before shooting on goal, but again, it was straight at McGuinness.

[caption id="attachment_22018" align="aligncenter" width="665"] Aodh Dervin, who put in a man of the match performance against Cabo. Pic: Ken Keenan[/caption]

Verdon almost got an assist in the hour mark when he played in Sean Boyd. A brilliant move started by Aodh Dervin in midfield resulted in a expertly placed through ball releasing Verdon on the right before he squared it for Boyd in the box but the Rovers loanee hit the post from close range before it bounced off McGuinness’ back and was eventually cleared.

Cabo could have been two up when a ball over the top caught Mick McDonnell out and bounced over his head for Rob Manley to race onto but Town keeper Lee Steacy was quick off his line to smother the ball to safety.

Eight minutes from time, Verdon had a chance to level again but his header from an Anto Breslin corner was saved by McGuinness.

With 5 mins remaining, Longford threw everybody forward but it was the home side who would get the second goal of the game deep into injury time. Some sloppy play in defence led to Cabo sub Sasaki saw him play in Manley who did well to work it past Steacy to seal the win for the south Dublin side.

A disappointing result for De Town who are now in 3rd place in the league and face Galway United at the City Calling Stadium next Saturday night in a must win game in the promotion race.

Match Report: Longford Town FC 3-1 Athlone Town AFC

Sat May 25th 2019

Match Report by Tony Ghee

Longford Town moved up to second place in the First Division table just a point behind leaders Shelbourne, after a brace from Dean Byrne and a penalty from Sam Verdon earned Neale Fenn’s charges a three-one victory over Midland rivals Athlone Town at the City Calling Stadium.

The home side took the lead on the quarter-hour mark when Verdon was inexplicably shoved over by Athlone centre-half Ciaran Grogan. Verdon dusted himself down, and calmly despatched the penalty, sending keeper Aaron Myles the wrong way.

Longford’s lead was very short-lived as Athlone were back on level terms within two minutes as the home defence were caught napping. Longford failed to properly clear a left-wing cross from Kaleem Simon, allowing Aaron Brilly to slip the ball through to striker Dean Williams and he poked home the equaliser.

Longford regained the lead on thirty-one minutes when Dean Zambra’s corner resulted in Kealan Dillon’s poor headed clearance being put back into the Athlone box by Paul O’Connor and Byrne brilliantly finished to the Athlone net.

The ‘Red & Black’ almost scored a third on thirty-eight minutes but Anto Breslin’s twenty-five yard free-kick struck the Athlone crossbar.

Longford Town started the second-half in whirlwind fashion and were again denied by the woodwork just four minutes after the resumption. Verdon’s exquisite curling shot from just outside the box on the left came back-off the far post and was gathered at the second attempt by Athlone keeper Myles despite being under pressure from O’Connor.

Dean Byrne grabbed his second of the contest and Longford’s third on fifty-three minutes when he created space for himself before rifling his shot to the Athlone net.

The home side created another good chance in the sixty-fifth minute. Aaron Dobbs released Byrne down the left, he skipped past Evan White, got to the end-line and whipped in a cross that was headed narrowly wide by Verdon.

Byrne was denied his hat-trick on seventy-seven minutes when he weaved his way into the Athlone box from the left only for his effort to be saved by Athlone stopper Myles.

TEAM LINE-UPS

Longford Town: Steacy, Elworthy, McDonnell, Kenna, Breslin, Zambra, Verdon, Dervin, O’Conor, Byrne, Dobbs.
Substitutions: Chambers for Verdon & Hollywood for Zambra (both 72 minutes)

Athlone Town: Myles, White, Buckley, Grogan, Casey, Kearney, Hogan, Brilly, Dillon, Simon, Williams.
Substitutions: Stokes for Hogan (63 minutes), Lotefa for Dillon (76 minutes)

Referee: Garvin Taggert

PICTURES BY TIERNAN DOLAN

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