Longford Town 0 - 3 Athlone Town
Report by: Rachael Mc Keon
Longford Town U19’s were back in action this weekend when they welcomed neighbours Athlone Town to Flancare Park in the first ever U19 El Classico. The game started in the spirit that would be expected between these two local rivals, with neat passing and hard hitting tackles. In the first five minutes Athlone conceded the first free kick of the game just outside the box. The resulting free saw Longford Town striker Alex Kenny drill the ball into the Athlone wall and the danger was quickly cleared into the Longford half which saw Athlone win their own free down the other end. The home keeper David McNamara made a good call and rose highest to claim the ball in mid air. Another free ten minutes later saw Athlone have a goal disallowed for offside when the Town back four stepped up well together to catch the Athlone attackers. Dean Cosgrave was unlucky not to open the scoring for Longford minutes later when good play from his team mates led to him unleashing a shot that just went over the bar. Unfortunately for the home side and the majority of the eighty or so fans it was Athlone who opened the scoring in the 28th minute through Eoin Mc Cormack who put the ball past McNamara. They were two nil up twenty minutes later when McNamara dropped the ball after seemingly being fouled but Jordan Conroy took full advantage and slotted the ball home. The home side I’m sure were expecting a free out but the referee saw the goal as legitimate and so the goal stood. Conroy got his name on the score sheet again four minutes later when he intercepted a ball just outside the Longford box, burst through the centre halves and finished well past the out coming McNamara. That took us up to half time with the score at three nil to the visitors.
Longford came out fighting in the second half; they stepped up the tempo and looked sharper than they did in the first 45 minutes. They kept Athlone at bay and in turn were creating a number of chances for themselves. Centre half David Mackey was unlucky to see his header go just over the bar from a corner. Longford were left reeling midway through the half when the ball seemed to cross the goalline after the Athlone keeper fumbled the ball following a snap shot from Brian McNamara. The referee didn’t seem to see that it had crossed the line and the linesman was too far behind play to flag for it and so play continued much to Longford’s dismay. From here on it was level pegging for the remainder of the half and both keepers were up to the challenge whenever they were called upon. As a result the game finished as it was at half time with the visitors going home with all three points and the bragging rights in the first El Classico of the season.
Longford will no doubt be disappointed with loosing the opening game of the season but on their second half display they have shown that they will have some very good games to come in this league.
Longford Town’s next game is away to Mervue Utd with a 2.30pm kick off in Fahy’s field next Saturday 08th of September.
Longford Town: David McNamara, Cormac Kennedy, Steven Boateng, David Mackey, Ruairi Carberry, Aaron Brilly(c), Dean Cosgrave, Kieran McNamara, Brian McNamara, Paul Kennedy, Alex Kenny.
Subs: Michael James for K. McNamara (50mins), Ryan Carberry for P. Kennedy (60mins), Paul Rushe for Boateng (68mins).
Not Used: Patrick Clinton, Sean Duarte, Cillian Glacken, Jamie Coady, Liam O’Farrell.
Athlone Town: Brian Redmond, Michael Monaghan, Rory Morris, Warren Conroy, Conor Marlowe, Rory Connor, Ian Sweeny, Rory King, Jordan Conroy, Eoin Mc Cormack, Darren Donnelly.