Match Report by James Donnelly
Longford Town FC suffered their heaviest defeat of the 2018 season on Friday night as Neale Fenn's 10 man team went down 6-1 to Shelbourne at Tolka Park. De Town came into the game off the back of a comfortable 3-0 win at home to Wexford FC last week so confidence was high going into the game.
Shelbourne had the first chance of the night, when former Town player and club record goal-scorer David O'Sullivan's glancing header went wide of the post. From then, Longford settled into the game and began a period of pressure on the home team. New Town signing and former Shelbourne man Jamie Doyle went close, only being denied by the hands of Dean Delany in goal. Dylan McGlade caused problems on the wing along with Karl Chambers and Shane Elworthy on the opposite side.
Against the run of play however, Shelbourne got their first goal of the night just before half time, when a free in to the box was met in the air by Dave Mulcahy who flicked it into the far corner to head home.
Town immidiately responded in the second half and got the equalizer 5 minutes in. Tristan Noack-Hofmann made a great run down the left wing before cutting inside and earning a corner. McGlades delivery was met by Michael McDonnell who's header towards goal fell to Sam Verdon who tapped it in from close range to level things up.
From then on, things went downhill. Shelbourne got their second of the night on 68 minutes when a good break saw the ball driven across the box before it fell to Karl Moore on the left who drove it under the legs of both Elworthy and Kelly in the Town goal.
A moment of madness only 2 minutes later saw the home side get their 3rd goal of the night. Daniel O'Reilly picked up the ball in the centre circle, holding posession, he turned back towards Sam Verdon to pass it off. As he did, the ref ran towards him and the ball ricocheted off him and into the path of a Shels man who sent David O'Sullivan through 1 on 1 with Kelly and the former Longford record goal scorer made no mistake in slotting it home, much to the anger of the travelling support and assistant Manager Daire Doyle who was inevitably sent to the stand.
Doyle went close again for Longford, this time turning on to his left foot inside the Shels box and forcing Delany to pull off a stunning save from close range. Things went from bad to worse for De Town however, Doyle was harshly sent off follwing an exchange with the ref after he had been deemed to have fouled a Shelbourne player.
Shels then took control of the game in the last quarter. Karl Moore completed his hat-trick to make it 5-1 before the Dublin side were awarded a soft penalty in the last few minutes in which James English cooly shot low to the left to make it 6.
A tough, tough night for Neale Fenn and co.
Shelbourne: Dean Delany, John Ross Wilson, Dave Mulcahy, Lorcan Fitzgerald, Aidan Collins, Karl Moore, Mark Hughes, Adam Evans, Gavin Boyne, David O'Sullivan, James English
Subs: Lee Steacy, Dayle Rooney, James O'Brien (sub for Gavin Boyne), Greg Moorehouse, Reece McEnteer(sub for Aidan Collins), Cian Kavanagh, Shane Farrell
Longford Town: Michael Kelly, Shane Elworthy, Michael McDonnell, Daniel O'Reilly, Tristan Noack-Hofmann, Dylan McGlade, Jamie Hollywood, Aodh Dervin, Karl Chambers, Sam Verdon, Jamie Doyle (Red Card)]
Subs: Ben Kelly, Darren Meenan (sub for Jamie Hollywood), Eoin O'Neill (sub for Sam Verdon), Evan O'Connor, Dean Dillon (sub for Karl Chambers), Dean Zambra, Warren Mitchell.
Hear from Longford Town FC Manager Neale Fenn after the game: https://soundcloud.com/longford-town-tv/post-match-interview-with-neale-fenn-shelbourne-fc-270718