Longford Town.................... 1
Dundalk FC.......................... 7
Report by: Rachael Mc Keon
For the second week running Longford Town U19’s took on Dundalk FC, this time at home in the last 16 of the Airtricity U19 National Cup. Dundalk I’m sure would have been buoyed coming into this game on the back of last weekend’s victory over the Town and also by having one of their players named in the U18 Irish International squad this week.
Longford themselves would have been looking to cause the same upset as they did when Finn Harps visited Flancare Park in the previous round. This was going to be a tough game for both sides as the pitch looked to be in poor condition, heavy and badly cut up in places due to the harsh weather conditions of late. In the first couple of minutes it looked as though a shock may have indeed been on the cards when Sodje and Rossiter linked up in just the second minute only for Rossiter’s shot to be saved by the Dundalk keeper. Longford continued to push for the opener but the Dundalk defence was standing firm. Dundalk started to come into the game and as they pushed forward they split the Longford defence when their midfield player slotted the ball through to the striker who looked to have come from an offside position to finish past Devlin in the Town goal. Within ten minutes of Dundalk’s opener Sodje who looks to be a great prospect for the future at Longford Town showed great pace and strength to get onto the end of a ball over the top from Cosgrave, shrug off his marker and finish with style past the out coming keeper. From the restart Dundalk pilled on the pressure and played a quick ball forward where yet again there was a hint of offside as the striker took the ball down and finished past Devlin to regain Dundalk’s lead. This lifted the Dundalk players heads again and just five minutes later they played a free kick in from the left where their number ten lost his marker to head home. Disappointingly for the Town the away sides scoring in the first half had not finished yet and minutes later another ball floated from the left was headed home by an incoming attacker who was left unmarked in the Town box. The first half came to an end with the visitors going in 4-1 up at the break.
The Town came out fighting in the second half, Araujo on the right wing looked dangerous and played in some wonderful balls to the front two who were unlucky not to add to the Towns tally. Ten minutes into the half Cosgrave was unlucky when his snap shot from just outside the box went marginally wide. A mistake at the back by the Town in the 65th minute was to gift Dundalk their fifth goal when Stead got caught flat footed and the Dundalk striker was quickest to react to poke the ball past Devlin. This was to begin a hectic five minutes for the Town defence when just two minutes after Dundalk’s fifth goal Stead stepped out assuming the player behind him was offside allowed him to have the ball, the absence of linesmen was to cost the Town again however as the referee allowed play to continue and the Dundalk player accepted the gift to slot home. The scoring had not finished yet and the final goal of the game was to come in the 70th minute when a mix up between Devlin and Stead allowed the Dundalk striker to net his fifth and his sides seventh of the afternoon. The away side were still hungry for more and but for some fine defending from Boateng and two wonder saves from Devlin it could have been much worse for the home side. Dundalk now progress to the quarter final of the Cup and Longford will have to dust themselves down and prepare for a tricky away trip to Fanad Utd next Saturday in the league where they will no doubt be hoping to bounce back with a positive result.
The Longford Town U19 team and management would like to thank Spar Express on the Dublin Rd. in Longford for their kind sponsorship.
Longford Town: Conor Devlin, Patrick Clinton, Andrew Stead, Stephen Boateng, Cillian Glacken, Leo Araujo, Sean Flannery, Dean Cosgrave, Mark Rossiter, Effe Sodje, Darren Carberry.
Subs: Ciaran Fagan for Glacken (64mins), Paddy Cheevers for Flannery (65mins), Padraig Gallagher for Stead (70mins).