Pictures by Ken Keenan
Longford Town travel to the Markets Field this Friday night to take on Limerick FC, hoping to secure a victory to cement their second placed position in the SSE Airtricity League First Division and to keep the pressure on league leaders Shelbourne.
Last weekend, fifth placed Limerick suffered their first home league defeat of the season when they lost one-nil to leaders Shelbourne, as the prolific Ciaran Kilduff scored the all important only goal of the contest. However, the Treaty side were very unlucky not to preserve their unbeaten home record as they missed a penalty before Kilduff’s match winning strike
Longford Town were on the right side of a one-nil score-line as Sam Verdon’s first half strike secured the three points for the Midlanders. Indeed, apart from a ten minute purple patch for Cobh which should have resulted in at least a goal for the Cork side, Longford dominated the contest and should have won by a much bigger margin.
Action from last week’s game v Cobh. (Photo: Syl Healy)
Limerick have beaten Bray, Cabinteely, Cobh, Galway and Athlone at the Markets Field, while they have drawn with Drogheda, Wexford and Longford Town before suffering defeat to Shelbourne last weekend, so their home form has been impressive.
Apart from the opening day stalemate between the sides at the Markets Field, Longford won the other League meeting between the sides with Dean Byrne grabbing the winning goal at the City Calling Stadium in a one-nil victory.
However, before the Town’s winning goal, Limerick’s Shane Tracy missed a penalty which was saved by Town keeper Lee Stacey, and the Munster side also played the last half-hour with ten-men after Sean McSweeney’s dismissal on the hour mark.
Limerick manager Tommy Barrett will be without dangerous striker Conor Ellis who has departed the club and that is a big blow to Limerick’s play-off prospects, but he will be looking to the likes of former Longford Town keeper, Jack Brady, and defenders, Shane Tracy and Robbie Williams to help the home side to keep a clean sheet.
Longford Town have missed a lot of crucial chances in games this season that has resulted in points being lost, and manager Neale Fenn is hoping to sign a striker to rectify that shortfall very shortly.
Apart from midfielder Paul O’Connor’s absence, everyone else is available for selection for the ‘Red & Black’
Dean Byrne’s 74th minute screamer of a goal was enough for all three valuable points in tonight’s tough encounter with Limerick.
Lee Steacy’s penalty save proved crucial in tonight’s win…..and chalked up another clean sheet.
A few yellow cards and a red were flashed by a busy ref in a game which saw the red and black left black and blue.
Some more pics from tonight’s clash.
The clash of the keepers….an amazing scene in the final minute when Limerick’s keeper Jack Brady took on De Town’s Lee Steacy……Lee beat the Shannonsider.
Irish international star Stephanie Roache was a huge and popular hit with the Killoe girls U10 team who won the indoor soccer community games Leinster final today. The girls met Stephanie at tonight’s game.Meanwhile the Killoe U10 boys strutted their stuff at half time in a very entertaining game. Great to see so many from Killoe at tonight’s game.
And where would we be without our mighty and loyal supporters, young and not so young as well as our incredible hard working volunteers. But really, we could do with many more supporters coming out to support this talented bunch of players.
Longford Town moved back to the top-of-the First Division as a Lee Steacy penalty save and a stunning Dean Byrne goal earned the ‘Red & Black’ a narrow one-nil victory over Limerick FC at the City Calling Stadium.
The first half provided very little excitement with shots being blocked or fired well wide by both sides.
However, the Town came close to taking the lead on thirteen minutes when Mick McDonnell’s header from Anto Breslin’s corner was saved by Limerick keeper Jack Brady, the ball came back out to Adam Evans but his close range shot was cleared off the line by a Limerick defender and then Sam Verdon completely missed connecting with his rebound effort from just six yards out.
Limerick missed a glorious opportunity to break the deadlock on fifty-two minutes when they were correctly awarded a penalty.
Sean McSweeney threaded a perfect pass through to Conor Ellis who was upended inside the Town box by Shane Elworthy and referee Alan Patchell pointed to the spot. Up stepped Shane Tracy but his low spot kick towards the bottom left corner was superbly saved by Town keeper Steacy.
Limerick’s woes continued seven minutes later when they were reduced to ten players as striker McSweeney was shown a straight red card for a two footed lunge on Elworthy.
Longford Town made use of their extra man to take the lead on seventy-four minutes with an exquisite move that was brilliantly finished by substitute Dean Byrne.
Carlton Ubaezuono won possession just inside his own half and exchanged passes with Sean Brennan, Brennan cleverly switched play to the right wing where he found Byrne, and the substitute swapped passes with Elworthy, stepped inside and rifled a twenty yard shot to the Limerick net.
Longford Town (4-1-4-1): Steacy, Elworthy, McDonnell, Kenna, Breslin, Zambra, Ubaezuono (Chambers 80 minutes), Dervin, Brennan, Evans (Byrne 57 minutes), Verdon (Dobbs 71 minutes).
Limerick FC (4-2-3-1): Brady, Kelly, Williams, Brouder, Fitzgerald, Tracy, Murphy, Ellis, Hughes, O’Sullivan (Hanlon 85 minutes), McSweeney.