Match Report by Tony Ghee
Longford Town 2
Derry City 0
Longford Towns’ first home Premier Division game since 2016, at Bishopsgate resulted in an outstanding two-nil victory over Derry City with goals from man-of-the-match Dylan Grimes and Joe Gorman sending the ‘Red and Black’ to the top-of-the-table.
Longford Town created the opening opportunity in the second minute, when a good pass from Rob Manley set-up Dylan Grimes on the edge of the Derry box, but his shot went narrowly wide.
The Town took the lead on eight minutes when Grimes latched onto a pass from Manley, he weaved his way past Derry players Danny Lafferty and Ciaron Harkin before firing a superb low diagonal shot to the left of the Derry net.
Derry had a lot of possession in the last fifteen minutes of the first-half winning several corners, the best of which resulted in striker David Parkhouse heading over a Patching corner on thirty-eight minutes.
The Candystripes nearly equalised in the forty-fourth minute when a Will Fitzgerald right-wing cross picked out striker Parkhouse twelve yards out from goal, and he fired a goal-bound shot that produced a stunning reflex save from Longford keeper Lee Stacey.
The home side almost doubled their advantage just two minutes after the resumption. A Grimes throw found Karl Chambers and his ball found Byrne inside the Derry box, but his shot was brilliantly saved by Derry keeper Nathan Gartside, Byrnes’ rebound shot then deflected into the path of Dean Zambra, but the Town Captain ballooned his effort over the Derry bar.
A Derry corner from Patching resulted in the towering Eoin Toal heading just wide on fifty-eight minutes.
A minute later, Longford carved open a chance when an exchange of passes between Byrne and kirk resulted in Kirk’s shot flashing across the face of the Derry City goal.
Longford Town deservedly went two-nil up on seventy-two minutes when Aodh Dervin’s long-range free-kick was only parried by Derry keeper Gartside into the path of Town defender Joe Gorman who tapped-in the rebound from close range.
A rampant Longford were a whisker away from making it three-nil when Dervin’s thunderous forty-yard free-kick crashed back off the Derry bar with keeper Gartside beaten all ends-up.
Chances were at a premium after that and Longford Town deservedly earned all three points with a superb two goal victory to lead the Premier Division.
Longford Town (4-3-2-1): Stacey, Chambers, O’Driscoll, Gorman, Kirk, Zambra, Dervin, Bolger, Grimes, Byrne, Rob Manley.
Substitutes: Thompson for Byrne (62 minutes), Joe Manley for Chambers (73 minutes), Robinson for Rob Manley (84 minutes), Dobbs for Bolger (84 minutes).
Derry City (4-3-3): Gartside, Cole, Toal, Coll, Lafferty, McJannet, Patching, Harkin, Akintunde, Parkhouse, Fitzgerald.
Substitutes: Malone for Akintunde and Lupano for Cole (both half-time), Carolaan McLaughlin for Fitzgerald (79 minutes), Thomson for McJannet (81 minutes).
Referee: Adriano Reale.