Report by: Rachel McKeon
Longford Town U19’s took on high flying Derry City on Saturday in Flancare Park. Derry no doubt would have come to Longford expecting to return home with three points and who could have blamed them considering results from the two team’s previous encounters.Longford were in no doubt of the threat Derry posed pushing forward and they set out to counteract this from the start in a 4-5-1 formation. It was to pay dividends as the Derry attack found it difficult to penetrate and cause any real defensive problems for the Town. Longford were on top form for this game and to go with some great defending they were attacking with passion also, spraying some wonderful balls out wide into the paths of the two wingers, who at times looked dangerous going forward. The first half didn’t offer much in the way of clear cut chances for either side to open the scoring. However a chance did fall to Rossiter to get Longford off the mark when Carberry fed a great ball into the feet of the striker who managed to get his shot off only to see it go just past the near post. The Town could have gone in 1-0 up at the break but it was not to be and the sides went in level at half time.
Longford upped the tempo in the second half and changed to a 4-4-2 formation. With this they began to attack with confidence against a battling Derry side. In the 53rd minute Araujo I’m sure thought he had put his side 1-0 up as Carberry again floated an inch perfect ball into the box for Araujo who drilled a powerful header goal ward which left the Derry keeper flat footed but cruelly for the Town striker it crashed back out off the upright. At this point Derry seemed to be getting frustrated at their lack of chances on goal and their inability to break down the resolute Town defence and the Derry management introduced fresh legs in an attempt to counteract this. Indeed the Town should have made the break through soon after these changes were made when Rossiter hit a powerful shot from the edge of the box only for the Derry keeper to make a stunning finger tip save to push the ball around the post. Late on into the second half Derry received a corner and when their centre half lost his marker and headed the ball goal ward, it took a great save from Town keeper Devlin to deny his effort and keep the scores level. Both teams battled tirelessly for the remainder of the game but unfortunately a goal was not to come for either side despite their best efforts. Going into this game a draw would have seemed to have been a great result for Longford considering how the league table looked and previous results between the two sides. I’m sure however that the young Town team will feel slightly hard done by considering the chances they produced against a Derry side that would have been expecting to return home with a comfortable win.
Next up for Longford is the short trip up the N4 to take on local rivals Sligo Rovers in two weeks time. They will be hoping to carry this form into that game and get another positive result.
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, Stephen Boateng, Efe Siode, Shane O’Connell, Leo Araujo, Ciaran Fagan, Dean Cosgrave, Sean Flannery, Mark Rossiter, Darren Carberry.
Subs: Paddy Cheevers for Fagan (75mins), Cillian Glacken for O’Connell (85mins), Padraig Gallagher for Carberry (87mins).
Not Used: Andrew Stead, Tommy Cooney.