Longford Town 1 - 3 Wexford Youths
Report by: Rachael McKeon
On Saturday last the Longford Town U-19’s made the long trip to the sunny south east to take on last year’s U-18 National Cup winners Wexford Youths. It was the home side that had the first real attempt on goal but Town keeper Liam O’Farrell, making his first competitive appearance for the Longford side made a good save which fell to centre half Steven Boateng who launched a quick counter attack ending with Brian McNamara having a shot well saved at the other end by the Wexford keeper.
Unfortunately for the away side on 17 minutes right back Ruairi Carberry had to go off injured and was replaced by Paul Rushe. This seemed to unsettle the Longford defence and minutes later Boateng gave away a foul on the edge of the box. The resulting free kick crashed back off the crossbar and Boateng was on hand to make amends and clear the ball to safety. The next action of note fell to new Town signing Boni Odoemene who was replacing Alex Kenny in the starting line up. Kenny was called up for the Longford Town first team squad to play SD Galway later that evening which meant Odoemene got his debut and almost a dream start in the Town colours. He latched onto a through ball from Dean Cosgrave only to see his shot go inches past the post. This was followed by a great shot from fellow striker Paul Kennedy that saw the Wexford keeper get across his line and pull off a wonder save. Ten minutes from half time Kieran McNamara played a super free kick into the Wexford box where he found David Mackey coming in late at the back post and he headed the ball past the keeper to open the scoring for the away side. Minutes later the Wexford keeper made a superb save when Aaron Brilly unleashed a shot from the edge of the Wexford box which saw the keeper at full stretch to push the ball out of play for a corner. This was the last action of the half and the Town side went in deservedly 1-0 up at the break.
The second half got under way with Wexford piling on the pressure, but it was the away side that had the first chance to add to their tally when Kennedy took a snap shot but yet again the home side’s keeper was to deny Longford. In the 53rd minute disaster was to strike for the Town when a pass from defence was intercepted by the Wexford winger who played it to the number 11 who clinically fired past O’Farrell in the Town goal. Things were to get worse for the midlanders when four minutes later the referee judged that a tackle in their penalty area was a foul and pointed to the spot. This time though luck was on the visitors side when the ball came back off the post and was sent to safety by an alert Rushe. The game became a cagey affair from here on, but in the 72nd minute some slack defending was to be punished when the Wexford striker was given to much space and got a shot off that O’Farrell initially saved with his feet but unfortunately for him it fell to the incoming Wexford player who tapped the ball home to make it 2-1 to the home side. Six minutes later the side managed by TD Mick Wallace were to punish another mistake by the away sides defence when both centre halves were slow to react to the ball in the box and was poked home by the Wexford striker past the out coming Town keeper. It was to be Longford who would get the last chance of the game when substitute and third Debutant of the day Sean Duarte played a great ball to Cosgrave whose shot was saved by the home keeper who had put in a man of the match performance to ensure his side captured all three points on the day.
This weekend sees a break in the U-19 league and the following week Longford Town will hope to get the three points from this encounter as they welcome the Wexford side to Flancare Park on Sunday October 14th.
Longford Town: Liam O’Farrell, Cormac Kennedy, Steven Boateng, David Mackey, Ruari Carberry, Aaron Brilly(c), Kieran McNamara, Paul Kennedy, Dean Cosgrave, Brian McNamara, Boni Odoemene.
Subs: Paul Rushe for Ruairi Carberry (17mins), Ryan Carberry for Brian McNamara (67mins), Sean Duarte for Mackey (84mins).
Not Used: Michael James, Cillian Glacken, David McNamara.
Wexford Youths: Unavailable.