On Sunday last the Longford Town U-19’s travelled to Galway for their third league encounter of the season with Mervue United. They went into this game after completing a busy Christmas break that saw them win two friendlys against local side Ballymahon and narrowly lose 1-0 to the top team in the U-19 Northern Division, Sligo Rovers.
As the game kicked-off there seemed to be a new found confidence in the young Town side and they were unlucky not to open the scoring inside the first five minutes when centre-half Brian McNamara headed just over after connecting with Kieran McNamara’s free-kick from the right.
The next attack of note fell to Boni Odomene when he and winger Ryan Carberry played a nice one two on the edge of the box before Carberry crossed for Odomene whose header was brilliantly pushed onto the crossbar by the Mervue keeper and the ball came back out only to be cleared to safety by the alert defenders.
Minutes later Mervue’s left winger managed to round Town right back Sean Duarte and somehow found the net from a tight angle to open the scoring. From the kick-off the home side gave away a free-kick that was headed goal ward by Odomene but it crashed back off the crossbar to find Brian McNamara who controlled the ball and volleyed home, only for the referee to disallow the equaliser for an alleged handball.
From this point on the home side began to get a foot hold on the game and put pressure on the Longford defence. Mervue were to stretch their lead on 31 minutes when the linesman adjudged that Town keeper David McNamara handled the ball outside the box. From the resulting free-kick the Mervue No. 2 slotted the ball home past the flat footed McNamara. With ten minutes remaining in the half Town winger Michael James weaved his way into the Mervue box and put a great shot past the home sides keeper to bring his side back into the game.
But disaster struck for the visitors on 40 minutes when they failed to clear the ball from their box and the Mervue No.10 took full advantage and poked the ball past Town keeper McNamara. The 3-1 half-time scoreline was harsh on the away side that had the majority of the play in the first half.
The start of the second half was similar to the first and Town striker Odomene found himself one on one with the Mervue keeper early on, only to be flagged for offside. On 55 minutes Carberry was unlucky to see his shot hit the sidenetting and five minutes later James had a shot that went just wide of the Mervue upright.
Form this point on the game became a battle in midfield as Mervue tried to hold what they had and Longford were struggling to make any impact. On 78 minutes Mervue were awarded a free-kick twenty yards from goal and their No.10 struck a wonderful shot over the wall and past McNamara to complete a horrible day for the visitors.
Next up for Longford Town is another game against Galway opposition, this time in the form of GUST. This game will be played either Wednesday or Saturday with the venue and time to be confirmed.
LONGFORD TOWN: David McNamara, Sean Duarte, Brian McNamara, Steven Boateng, Cormac Kennedy, Aaron Brilly (c), Michael James, Ryan Carberry, Kieran McNamara, Alex Kenny, Boni Odomene.
Subs: Paul Kennedy for K. McNamara (55 mins); Dean Cosgrave for Carberry (75 mins); Padraig Gallagher for Kenny (80 mins).
MERVUE UNITED: Conor O’Malley, Eric Neary, Shane McNamara, Padraig Keane, Dylan Thornton, Luke Tully, Eoghan Walsh, Richard Fahy, Dillon Murphy, Aiden O’Sullivan, Aaron McDonagh, Evan Boyce, Moise Assogba, Thomas Gleeson, Evan Browne, John Rattigan, James Healy.