For the second week in a row Longford Town fell to a disappointing defeat and this poor result against Mervue United at City Calling Stadium on Saturday evening last leaves them in second spot behind Athlone on goal difference.
Just before the Athlone game in the middle of June, the Town were ahead by 9 points, now they are in 2nd place. Yes, they have had injuries and suspensions to contend with of late as well as a few controversial refereeing decisions but they can’t blame anyone but themselves. They simply weren’t good enough last weekend and Mervue got the win they deserved.
In David O’Sullivan they have a player who can score goals but it shouldn’t be left to him all the time, other players have to step up to the mark. Getting goals though isn’t the Town’s problem; it’s conceding them and this could prove very costly. Something has to be done and fast. Midfield is also a problem area, everyone can see that but nothing has been done. Changes have to be made before it’s too late.
The visitors had the best of the early chances; Marc Ludden forced Chris Bennion into a fine save in the 5th minute while Stephen Walsh, who was unmarked in the box, tried to lob his effort but it went over in the 18th minute. In the 28th minute Gary Shanahan was through on goal but put his effort wide,
However, in the 37th minute the Town broke the deadlock when Gary Shaw’s cross was powerfully headed to the net by David O’Sullivan.
But that lead only lasted four minutes as Longford failed to clear a corner and Gary Shanahan finished to the net and in the 78th minute Mervue took the lead; Jason Molloy with the pass for Shanahan who lobbed the ball over the advancing Bennion.
Three minutes later Mervue grabbed a third goal; Shanahan the provider for Stephen Walsh who fired past Bennion to leave Longford shocked and this surprise result has really opened up the First Division promotion race.
LONGFORD TOWN: Chris Bennion; Corie Tracey, Willo McDonagh, Willie Tyrrell, Glen O’Connor; Josh O’Hanlon, Rhys Gorman, Keith Gillespie, Derek O’Brien; Gary Shaw, David O’Sullivan.
Subs:- Brian McCarthy for G O’Connor (half-time); Keith Quinn for W McDonagh (57 mins); Dean Ebbe for G Shaw (74 mins).
MERVUE UNITED: Conor Gleeson; Paul Sinnott, Ross Kenny, Martin Conneely, Marc Ludden; Gary Shanahan, Gary Curran, Noel Varley, Jason Molloy; Stephen Walsh, Ryan Manning.
Subs:- Tom King for R Kenny (20 mins); Brendan Lavelle for R Manning (90 mins); Barry O’Mahony for N Varley (91 mins).
Referee: Andrew Mulally (Waterford).