Match Report by James Donnelly
Longford Town progressed into the next round of the Leinster Senior Cup last night with a 2-1 victory over UCD in Belfield. Jackson Ryan got both goals for De Town in the second half after Ben Hanrahan had opened the students account early in the first.
Both managers made big changes to their starting eleven coming into the game, for UCD, the stand-out missing man was star striker Georgie Kelly while Longford Town were without the services of midfield maestro Aodh Dervin who is out for at least a month after picking up a nasty injury against Finn Harps last week. Centre backs Daniel O’Reilly and Michael McDonnell were rested, both starting the game on the bench. Adam O’Connor and Daniel Ridge started in their place.
The first chance of the game came to Longford’s Tristan Noack-Hofmann. A slack UCD clearance fell to the Arvagh man about 30 yards out but his shot went over and didn’t trouble Conor Kearns in the UCD goal.
Evan Galvin played in Dylan McGlade not too long after but his shot only stung the hands of Kearns and it eventually ended up out for a corner. Dean Byrne also went close when he got onto the end of a cross from Darren Meenan but his volley was blasted high into the sky.
UCD wasted an opportunity on 15 minutes when Kevin Coffey was played in but he dragged his shot wide past Jack Bradys right post.
However, the students eventually opened the scoring on 20 minutes. Some lax passing from Longford saw Yoyo Mahdy pick the ball up on the left wing, he played in Ben Hanrahan who managed to get himself between Towns two centre backs and he blasted it past Jack Brady in the Longford Town goal.
Longford had a chance to equalize on 38 minutes when a corner from Darren Meenan was met in the air by Adam O’Connor but his header bounced inches wide.
Town started the second half with a purpose and it was only 3 minutes in when they equalized. Tristan Noack-Hofmanns header from a corner wasn’t dealt with, Conor Kearns in the UCD goal palming the ball out but into the path and off Longford’s Jackson Ryan who was in the right place at the right time as the ball ricocheted off his leg and into the UCD net.
UCD’s Yoyo Mahdy swung in a cross from the left on 49 minutes and it was met mid-air by Hanrahan but his shot was wide of the mark.
Jackson Ryan, who was Longford’s man of the match, almost got his hat-trick on the half hour mark when a cross from Darren Meenan went over the head of the UCD defenders but he failed to connect properly and his shot went over the bar.
Evan Galvin was on the receiving end of a crunching tackle and had to be replaced. Neale Fenn will be hoping it’s not another addition to Longford’s ever growing injury list. Although on the bright side, Shane Elworthy and Peter Hopkins are expected back soon.
Michael McDonnell went close on 74 minutes when he got in behind the UCD backline but his header was over the bar.
Longford finally got the breakthrough they deserved on 80 minutes when a quick break saw Chris Mulhall lay it off to Dean Byrne 30 yards out, he turned and gave it to Jamie Hollywood who played in a perfect pass to the waiting Jackson Ryan who had gotten in between the two centre backs where he easily rounded Kearns and passed it into an empty net to put De Town into the lead.
UCD had one more chance on goal in the dying seconds of the game when substitute Jason McClelland rattled the cross bar from outside the box but it wasn’t enough as Longford Town edged out the game and progressed to the next round.
UCD: Kearns, Corcoran, Osam (sub: Dignam), Farrell, Boore, Crowley, Doyle, McDonald, Mahdy, Coffey (sub: McClelland), Hanrahan.
Sub not used: Williams, Tobin, O’Neill.
Longford Town: Brady, Noack-Hofmann, O’Connor, Galvin (Zambra), Hollywood, Chambers (sub: McDonnell), Byrne, Meenan (sub: Mulhall), Ryan, Ridge, McGlade.
Subs not used: Keller, O’Reilly, Verdon,
Attendance: 60 (est)