Longford Town held by Wexford Youths

For the second week in a row Longford Town dropped two vital points and in doing so slipped to second in the table as Limerick moved to the top of the First Division by virtue of their superior goal difference.

For the second week in a row Longford Town dropped two vital points and in doing so slipped to second in the table as Limerick moved to the top of the First Division by virtue of their superior goal difference.

In their previous game against Athlone Town produced a poor display and they followed it up in Ferrycarrig Park on Friday night last with another dismal performance. On the first half display alone they were lucky they didn’t go in at the break trailing by more than just Danny Furlong’s penalty.

With the erratic way the Town have been playing of late Waterford United will travel to Flancare Park on Saturday next full of confidence that they can claim a vital win. If that happens the Blues will move to within one point of the Town but with the way the First Division is shaped at the moment it seems that the current top three will more than likely be in those positions come the end of the season but it remains to be seen in what order.

With Willo McDonagh suspended for the Wexford game Chris Deans came back into defence while Tony Griffiths was given his first start up front alongside Gary Shaw with Karl Bermingham dropping to the bench.

After losing their two previous league fixtures against the Town this season Wexford didn’t want it to be three defeats in a row and they took the game to the visitors right from the start. In the 2nd minute Joe Mulcahy forced Town keeper Craig Hyland to come out of the box and commit a foul and he received a yellow card which could have been a red for a rash challenge. Hyland did make amends when tipping over the free-kick that was awarded.

Wexford continued to press and won a serious of corners with Aidan Keenan’s shot forcing a save from Hyland. After a lively start from the home side the Town had their first effort on goal in the 11th minute but Griffiths shot straight at the home keeper Graham Doyle.

The Town were dealt a blow in the 19th minute when Michael Lee had to go off injured with a bang to the head and he was replaced by Daniel Purdy. Minutes after Wexford had a chance but Keenan headed over Sean Corcoran’s cross.

In the 23rd minute the Town found themselves 1-0 down after Mark Salmon gave away a silly penalty. Furlong stepped up and scored, sending Hyland the wrong way. Longford tried to get back into the game but created very little of note and Wexford could have doubled their lead in the 34th minute but Noel Haverty put in a fantastic tackle to deny Furlong his second goal.

Two minutes later the Town had a chance but Alan Kirby over-hit his shot and it went wide. Down the other end the home side threatened again and Hyland had to make an excellent save from Mulcahy in the 41st minute. As half-time approached the Town had two chances; first Griffiths had a header saved by Doyle and then Keith Gillespie’s free-kick was headed clear.

Nine minutes into the second half the Town were back on level terms when Daniel Purdy curled a beautiful free-kick past the helpless Doyle in the Wexford goals. From the kick-off Wexford were dealt another blow when Keenan was shown his second yellow and then a red card for a foul on Gillespie.

But instead of the Town using the numerical advantage in their favour it was Wexford who created a chance after the sending-off and Furlong should have done better with his effort as Hyland was able to easily gather the ball.

While Longford began to get on top they failed to create any chances against the 10-men, in fact Wexford looked the more dangerous when on the break. In the 74th minute Purdy crossed for Gary Shaw to get in a header but his effort was cleared by James Scallon. Jamie Duffy also had a chance too but the Town just could not engineer a winning goal and so they came away from Wexford with just a point.

WEXFORD YOUTHS: Graham Doyle, Sean Corcoran, Shane Clarke, Jamie Carr, James Scallon, Eric Molloy, Aidan Keenan, Brian Nolan, Craig Wall, Danny Furlong, Joe Mulcahy.

Subs:- Shane Nolan for Mulcahy (86 mins); Dean Broaders for B Nolan (86 mins).

LONGFORD TOWN: Craig Hyland, Colm James, Noel Haverty, Chris Deans, Michael Lee, Alan Kirby, Mark Salmon, Keith Gillespie, Thomas Crawley, Tony Griffiths, Gary Shaw.

Subs:- Daniel Purdy for Lee (injured, 19 mins) Karl Bermingham for Salmon (half-time); Jamie Duffy for Griffiths (68 mins).

Referee: John Grimes (Dublin).