Match Report by Tony Ghee
Longford Town’s impressive six game unbeaten league run was brought to a halt in Stradbrook last night as a goal on the half-hour mark from Kevin Knight gave Cabinteely a one-nil victory, a result that sees Longford drop down to fifth in the League table after Finn Harps won away at Galway United.
The Town came into the contest with four wins and two draws from their last six games and the momentum of those back-to-back wins over Galway and Finn Harps over the Bank Holiday weekend had propelled Neale Fenn’s charges into the play-off positions. However, this was always going to be a tricky contest as Cabinteely are very hard beaten at home. Their three home losses to Wexford, Cobh, and Galway were all one goal defeats, while they have beaten UCD, Shelbourne, and Drogheda at Stradbrook, so a draw would have been an excellent result.
The first twenty-five minutes produced very little to entertain the fans but the Town suffered a huge blow after just twelve minutes when striker Dean Byrne who had produced four assists in the wins over Galway and Harps, went off injured with a groin problem that will probably keep him out of action for several weeks.
The first real shot at goal came after twenty-six minutes when McGlade ran at the Cabo defence, turned inside his marker and let fly from the edge of the box, but his shot went wide.
Disaster struck for the visitors on the half-hour mark as Cabinteely took the lead with their first effort on goal. Dalton floated a free-kick from the left into the Town box that was misjudged by Zambra and his attempted clearance deflected the ball straight to Knight at the back post and the Cabinteely full-back fired home from close range.
The Town suddenly came alive and began to exert pressure on the Dubliners defence. On thirty-three minutes, an Elworthy throw found McGlade who cleverly lifted the ball over defender Knight, he ran onto the ball but his strike was well off target.
In the thirty-ninth minute, a sweeping Town move carved open the Cabo rearguard. McDonnell intercepted a Cabo pass and played the ball to McGlade who quickly moved the ball to Mulhall, and Mulhall set-up Verdon for a shot that went narrowly wide.
Just before the interval, Town defender O’Reilly almost equalised but his thunderous fifteen-yard goalbound shot was brilliantly blocked.
Cabinteely should have doubled their advantage just two minutes after the restart. Marty Waters superb ball put in Clucas on the left side of the Longford box, and although the angle was slightly narrow, he only had Town keeper Kelly to beat, but instead of shooting to the far bottom corner he played a harmless ball across the six-yard box that was easily cleared.
Verdon shot over on fifty-two minutes from O’Reilly’s excellent long diagonal pass, while at the other end on seventy-six minutes, clever play from Waters set-up Watson who fired a shot just inches over the Town bar.
Longford completely dominated the last twenty minutes but failed to snatch a deserved equaliser due to a combination of poor finishing, good defending, and a couple of excellent saves from McGuinness in the Cabinteely goal.
Longford almost scored a dramatic injury time equaliser. Galvin’s twenty-yard shot was well saved by McGuinness but the ball came out to Verdon at the back post and he seemed destined to rattle the net from close range only for McGuinness to somehow get across to produce a magnificent save with Mulhall’s rebound strike blocked away.
The Town finished with ten players for the third time in four games as Galvin received his marching orders deep into injury time.
Next up for Longford Town is a home tie against Drogheda next Friday night at the City Calling Stadium at 7.45pm.
Cabinteely FC: McGuinness, Tuite, Fitzpatrick, Lotefa, Knight, Dalton, Watson, Dolan, Casey, Marty Waters, Clucas.
Substitutes: Morgan for Dolan (59 minutes), McGee and Byrne for Clucas and Casey (71 minutes).
Longford Town: Kelly, Elworthy, McDonnell, O’Reilly, Noack-Hofmann, Chambers, Hollywood, Zambra, McGlade, Byrne, Verdon.
Substitutes: Mulhall for Byrne (12 minutes), Hopkins for Chambers (56 minutes), Galvin for Hollywood (71 minutes)
REPORT BY TONY GHEE
The U15’s played what turned out to be a very competitive game on Saturday in Kiltiernan and although both sides were battling it out for their first win of the season, it would be very fair to say that a lot of positive and entertaining football was played by both sides.
The game began as a close affair with both teams having chances, the better of which had fallen to Cabinteely inside the first 20 minutes. Cabinteely’s early dominance then led to by far the biggest chance of the game as Cabinteely were awarded a penalty after their right winger was judged to be fouled in the box.
The resulting penalty turned out to be the kick starter of Longford’s first purple patch of the game though, as the spot kick was blazed over the bar. Longford then pushed on and had a few very good chances of their own. Nick Palmer had a header that could be deemed the pick of these chances, as he headed inches wide from an excellent cross from Ben Grey.
Longford’s dominance was not to be rewarded though and Cabinteely capitalized, as they scored a very well worked goal just 5 minutes before the break. Again Cabinteely’s right winger played a big part in their positive attacking play, as his darting run in behind Longford’s defenders and quality pullback meant the chance they created was easily converted and the score was 1 nil to Cabinteely at half time.
Longford began the second-half with another strong period of dominance as they really piled the pressure on a defensively strong Cabo back four.
As they pushed for an equalizer, some very good chances were created through a mix of good build up play and early crosses, with Nick Palmer forcing a great save from the Cabo keeper. Then Josh Geogheann turned brilliantly before running through to a 1v1 chance which could’ve easily led to a goal only for an outstanding piece of last ditch defending.
The missed opportunities would again prove to be rued by Longford, as with 15 minutes to go, another swift attacking counter from Cabinteely put them 2 nil up.
The last 15 minutes of the game opened up as Longford chased a goal in an effort to try get back into the game, which led to chances at both ends, as Cabo had chances on the counter attack too.
Overall Longford may rue missed chances after the game, but ultimately the performance was a positive one and they go into next week with renewed confidence before their first home league game of the season, a Midlands Derby versus Athlone Town.
Jack Tiernan (C)
Cody Lee (GK)
Report by Tony Ghee
Longford Town moved to within two points of the triple joint leaders Drogheda, Shelbourne and UCD with a 3-0 victory at home to Cabinteely at the City Calling Stadium last night as late, late goals from substitutes Hopkins and Byrne sealed a rather flattering triumph for Neale Fenn’s charges.
The Town took the lead after just seven minutes when Chambers sharp pass set Elworthy free down the right wing and his low cross deflected off Cabinteely defender Butler into the net just inside the post.
Four minutes later, a surging run from Galvin created an opening only for his shot to go just over the Cabinteely bar.
Longford suffered a big blow on sixteen minutes as star centre-half Danny O’Reilly had to be taken off with a head wound that required seven stitches, but he should be fit for next week’s trip to leaders Drogheda United.
The visitors produced a promising attack just after the half-hour mark but Watson’s twenty-two yard strike was straight at Town keeper Kelly.
The second-half produced far more chances for both sides and Cabinteely will be wondering how they failed to score as they missed several excellent chances, but a combination of good saves from Kelly, resolute defending including a crucial goal-line block from Noack-Hofmann, and poor finishing, all contributed to the Town recording their second successive clean sheet.
Twice during the second-half, Hofmann and Verdon combined to almost increase the home side’s lead. Two minutes after the resumption, Hofmann’s first cross from the left was just missed by the inrushing Verdon when any touch at all would have diverted the ball to the net. The second Hofmann cross on fifty-four minutes hit off Verdon’s back and ended up in the Cabinteely keeper’s arms.
Cabinteely should have found the Town net on 49 minutes but the Visitors missed two superb chances to draw level. The unmarked Ball found space inside the Longford box but his effort was well saved by Kelly, the rebound came out to Marty-Waters and his low ball across the box picked out Fox who somehow blazed over the Town bar from just eight yards out.
On 63 minutes, Cabinteely again came close to an equaliser when Andy O’Reilly’s cross found the unmarked Fox fourteen yards out but he headed over the Town bar.
At the other end, a Verdon long range shot whistled narrowly wide of the Cabinteely post but that was followed by two good opportunities for the visitors. On eighty-one minutes, a Ball corner to the back post was headed back towards the opposite post by Butler to the unmarked Knight who nodded wide. Three minutes later, former Longford winger Simon pounced on a mistake by Dervin to race in on goal, however, Town keeper Kelly magnificently saved Simon’s effort.
The Town sealed victory with two late goals from substitutes Hopkins and Byrne in the dying embers of the contest. A brilliant pass from Byrne in the eighty-sixth minute found Hopkins on the right, Hopkins controlled the ball with a deft touch before unleashing a powerful low diagonal shot that rocketed to the bottom left corner of the net. Then in injury time, Byrne waltzed his way past three defenders to fire home the Town’s third and final goal of the night.
Longford Town: Kelly, McDonnell, O’Reilly, Noack-Hofmann, Elworthy, Dervin, Zambra, Verdon, Galvin, Chambers, Mulhall.
Substitutes: O’Connor for O’Reilly (16 minutes), Hopkins for Chambers (59 minutes), Byrne for Verdon (85 minutes).
Cabinteely FC: McGowan, Tuite, Butler, Knight, Stokes, Ball, Lotefa, Watson, O’Reilly, Fox, Marty-Waters.
Substitutes: Casey for Lotefa (67 minutes), Simon for Fox (77 minutes).
Referee: Adriano Reale.
Pictures by Tiernan Dolan
A few action pics from tonight’s 3-0 victory over Cabinteely. Match report to follow.