03 Dec 2021

Derry City mightily relieved as Akintunde stoppage time equaliser denies Longford Town victory

SSE Airtricity League Premier Division: Derry City 1 Longford Town 1

Derry City mightily relieved as Akintunde stoppage time equaliser denies Longford Town victory

Jack Malone of Derry City challenged by Aodh Dervin of Longford Town at Ryan McBride Brandywell Stadium in Derry. Picture: Sam Barnes/Sportsfile

For the second game in a row, Longford Town threw away a lead as Derry City salvaged a draw against them in the last minute of stoppage time in their SSE Airtricity League Premier Division clash at the Ryan McBride Brandywell Stadium on Friday evening.

SSE Airtricity League Premier Division: Derry City 1 Longford Town 1

Against the run of play Town had taken the lead in the 74th minute; Dean Zambra played a good ball into Rob Manley, he did well to hold off his marker before shooting to the net.

Derry tried to get back on level terms and in the first minute of stoppage time Town keeper Mick Kelly pulled off an excellent save to deny sub Patrick Ferry.

With time almost up James Akintunde shot through a crowded box to give Derry a point.

On the balance of play the home side deserved the point but Town will feel it’s two points dropped, with victory so close.

It was a poor and scrappy first half. Derry City had the better of the chances. With just four minutes gone on the clock Eoin Toal forced Town keeper Mick Kelly to tip his header over the bar. 10 minutes later and Toal came close again to breaking the deadlock but his header was cleared off the line by Dean Zambra.

Town slowly began to get into the game but their touch and passing let them down and they didn’t create too much. Their first chance came in the 29th minute when Shane Elworthy’s pinpoint cross met the head of Aaron Robinson but his weak effort was straight at Derry netminder Nathan Gartside.

Down the other end James Akintunde should’ve done better with his effort in the 31st minute and in the 40th minute David Parkhouse’s low drive just went narrowly wide. 

It was Parkhouse who tested the reflexes of Kelly within the opening minute of the second half. The home side continued to dominate while the Town didn’t do much to test Gartside.

Another Parkhouse effort was saved in the 54th minute by Kelly as they went in search of the opening goal. In the 66th minute Derry had claims for a penalty waved away when Akintunde went down on the box.

In the 74th minute Town took the lead but didn’t look like adding to it. They were made defend as Derry battled hard for an equaliser and it came just right at the end. 

Derry City: Nathan Gartside; Ciaran Coll, Cameron McJannet, Eoin Toal, Ronan Boyce; Ciaron Harkin; James Akintunde, Jack Malone, Will Patching, Will Fitzgerald; David Parkhouse. 

Subs: Caolan McLaughlin for Fitzgerald (75 mins), Patrick Ferry for Harkin (80 mins)

Longford Town: Mick Kelly; Shane Elworthy, Mick McDonnell, Aaron O’Driscoll, Karl Chambers; Aaron Robinson, Dean Zambra, Aodh Dervin; Dylan Grimes, Dean Byrne; Rob Manley.

Subs: Callum Thompson for Byrne (60 mins), Aaron Bolger for Robinson (67 mins)

Referee: Rob Harvey (Dublin)

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