Ten man Longford Town squandered a 3-0 lead as a stunning late second half comeback from Cobh Ramblers saw them snatch all three points in a dramatic finish at St. Colman’s Park on Saturday night last.
With Athlone winning on Friday night and Longford losing, the lead at the top of the First Division table is now down to just one point. The second goal that Cobh got was a rather soft penalty and Cork referee Anthony Buttimer made a number of bizarre decisions throughout the game.
Longford could have got something out of the game but rather than changing things around manager Tony Cousins continued to leave things as they were. Options were on the bench in Dean Ebbe and Daniel Purdy (who scored the winner away to Cobh in March) but surprisingly neither were introduced.
After just 4 minutes Longford were forced into making a change with Josh O’Hanlon coming on for the injured Gary Shaw. O’Hanlon made an immediate impact and in the 11th minute he headed home the first goal from a corner.
14 minutes later Rhys Gorman beat Ramblers keeper Shane Hallahan with a powerful header to increase the Longford lead.
It looked like game over in the 31st minute when David O’Sullivan weaved his way through the Ramblers defence to grab the third goal.
But disaster struck for Longford one minute from the break when defender Noel Haverty was sent-off for bringing down Davin O’Neill in the box and a penalty was awarded with Martin Deady beating Chris Bennion from the spot-kick. Cobh started the second half brightly and the introduction of Bobbi Donoghue made a difference. In the 78th minute the winger went down very softly in the box under a challenge from Glen O’Connor and the referee didn’t hesitate in awarding Ramblers a second penalty with Deady making no mistake.
Minutes later the home side were level when Donoghue’s cross was headed home by Roy Kenny. The momentum was firmly with Cobh and in the 84th minute Davin O’Neill scored the winner with a stunning volley.
COBH RAMBLERS: Shane Hallahan; Adam Thompson, John Meade, Craig Burns, Brian Fitzgerald; Andrew Bhandarkar, Martin Deady, Roy Kenny, Davin O’Neill; Alan O’Flynn, Kynan Rocks.
Subs: Brendan Frahill for B Fitzgerald (11 mins), Graham McCarthy for A Thompson (61 mins); Bobbi Donoghue for A O’Flynn (61 mins).
LONGFORD TOWN: Chris Bennion; Noel Haverty, Willo McDonagh, Corie Treacy, Glen O’Connor; David O’Neill, Rhys Gorman, Keith Gillepie, Derek O’Brien; Gary Shaw, David O’Sullivan.
Subs: Josh O’Hanlon for G Shaw (injured, 4 mins), Gavin Doyle for K Gillespie (82 mins)
Referee: Anthony Buttimer (Cork).