Longford Town 0 - 3 Limerick FC
Report by: Rachael McKeon
What was to be a tough week for the Longford Town U19’s kicked off on Monday last with the re-fixed FAI U19 Cup game against UCD who are the top team in the country at the moment. UCD are a team who like to play passing football but the Town side were in no mood to let their visitors have it all their own way and were to tackle hard and get in the faces of the college team from the off. Indeed the home side played some good passing football themselves and were unlucky not to have caught the away side on the counter attack on a number of occasions. It was the elite league leaders that were to break the deadlock however when midfielder Robbie Slater hit a rasping shot past Town keeper McNamara on 40 minutes. In what was an entertaining game both sides were playing well and UCD were being kept at bay by some great Town defending and the home side were unlucky not to get an equaliser when Ryan Carberry and Aaron Brilly both had shots that narrowly missed the target. The visitors booked their place in the quarter final when on 86 minutes Adam Zayed, brother of Eamon Zayed (Libya International) was brought down in the box for a penalty. Colm Crowe took the resulting spot kick and slotted it home to kill off the spirited Town teams hope of progressing to the last eight of the Cup.
It was back to league action on Sunday afternoon and the long away trip to Limerick to play the team that is many people’s favourites for this year’s southern division title. The first fifteen minutes of the game was a cagey affair where both teams cancelled each other out. When the first chance of the game was to arrive it fell to the Shannonsiders but David McNamara in the Town goal was alert and made a good save at his near post. Not long before the break it was to be Longford who almost opened the scoring when a corner was cleared by the Limerick defence and fell to Aaron Brilly who was all of 30 yards out when he took the ball down, looked up and unleashed a shot that cannoned off the underside of the crossbar and was cleared to safety. After a half of few the teams went in nil all at the break.
Just five minutes into the second half disaster struck for the visitors when a ball played into the box from the right was met sweetly by the home sides centre forward and blasted to the net to open the scoring. Within minutes Brian McNamara could have got an equaliser but the Limerick keeper was alert and saved well. With half an hour to go the Longford keeper showed great awareness when the ball came through a crowed penalty area and he cleared up field to avert the danger. His defenders though were slow to react and the Limerick midfielder was on hand to smash a shot from 25 yards out but luckily for the Town defenders his shot hit the crossbar and went out to safety. With 15 minutes left on the clock Longford got a corner and centre half Steven Boateng rose highest to almost score, as the ball ran past the post Alex Kenny just couldn’t reach the ball to poke it into the empty goal. This was to be the last attack of note for the Town side as Limerick began to pile on the pressure. They were to get their reward for this pressure when in the 83rd minute their full back scored from a corner and in the 88th minute when their centre forward got his second of the game when he was left unmarked in the box. The same player thought he had claimed the match ball when he had the ball in the net on 90 minutes only for it to be ruled out for offside. He was to be denied his hat-trick again in the final minute of injury time when he found himself one on one with the Town keeper but McNamara in goal made a great save to deny him once again.
Next up for Longford Town is another tough game as on Saturday the still unbeaten in the league and current table toppers Athlone Town visit Flancare Park at 2pm for the third U19 El Classico of the season. All support is welcome and admission is free.
Longford Town: David McNamara, Dean Cosgrave, Steven Boateng, David Mackey, Ruairi Carberry, Aaron Brilly(c), Michael James, Ryan Carberry, Kieran McNamara, Brian McNamara, Paul Kennedy.
Subs: Alex Kenny for Kennedy (57mins), Boni Odemene for Brilly (70mins), Cormac Kennedy for James (83mins).
Not Used: Sean Duarte, Padraig Gallagher, Mark Rossiter.
Limerick FC: Unavailable.