Report by: Rachael Mc Keon
The first game of 2012 to be played under lights at Flancare Park served up a football feast between Longford Town U19’s and table toppers Finn Harps. After last weekend’s impressive performance for the Town against Sligo Rovers, they started this game in the same vein and with the same level of intensity.
The young Longford lads faced a different battle this weekend as they played a good game of football against a hard hitting very physically strong Harps side, as opposed to Sligo Rovers the previous weekend who played a more attractive style of football. With the tackles flying in hard and fast from both sides from kick off, the referee did well to let the game flow as there was no real malice in any of the tackles. It was level pegging for both sides for the majority of the first half as both teams battled hard. Longford’s Darren Carberry was very commanding down the left side of midfield winning everything that came his way and battling hard to regain possession any time it was lost. Midway through the half Carberry played the ball through to the hardworking Cheevers who set up a lovely ball for Rossiter but unfortunately the ball got tangled in the Town strikers feet and the seemingly inevitable goal was not to be this time round. Devlin kept Longford in it a number of times throughout the game making some vital saves from the Harps strike force. Harps went 1-0 up four minutes from the end of the first half however when the Town lost the ball out wide and the Harps winger played the ball through to the striker who looked to be offside but the linesman kept his flag down and the Harps frontman slotted the ball past the out coming Devlin. The Town will no doubt feel hard done by when minutes later they levelled the scoreline only to have their goal disallowed when scorer Effe Sodje was deemed to be offside. 1-0 it was to Harps at the break.
It was more of the same form the off in the second half from both sides with the tackles coming hard and fast and with them came the chances. Devlin pulled off an impressive double save from close range to deny Harps their second shortly after the restart. Unfortunately for Longford, Harps didn’t have to wait long after that for their second as they floated a corner into the Town box that wasn’t dealt with and they slotted the ball past Devlin in the Town goal. There were a few more half chances from both sides for the remainder of the game but nothing of real significance and it was to remain 2-0 to the visitors despite the best efforts of the hard working Town team.
The Town face Finn Harps again next weekend in Flancare Park at 2pm in the first round of the U19 FAI Cup. This time they will be hoping for a positive result as they look to advance in the competition.
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, Effe Sodje, Stephen Boateng , Shane O’Connell, Leo Araujo, Sean Flannery, Dean Cosgrave, Mark Rossiter, Paddy Cheevers, Darren Carberry.
Subs: James Donnelly for Cheevers (55mins), Andrew Stead for Araujo (60mins), Ciaran Fagan for Flannery (75mins).
Not Used: Cillian Glacken.