A goal from substitute Gary Shaw five minutes from time gave Longford Town a vital win over Wexford Youths at City Calling Stadium on Saturday night last and thus ensured the race for a promotion play-off spot goes down to the final game of the season.
Shaw’s crucial strike came five minutes after the visitors had deservedly levelled the game and they looked as if they would come away with a result. For much of the match the loyal home supporters in the small attendance were truly frustrated and many of them made their feelings known, especially when the visitors equalised.
This patchy performance won’t give supporters much faith going down to Athlone on Saturday night for the last league game. The First Division champions will certainly want to finish the season on a high while Town need a result if they are to clinch a promotion play-off spot.
Despite the Town starting the game brightly it was Wexford who created the first chance with Graham Delaney’s effort in the 7th minute deflected out for a corner. Town netminder Chris Bennion had to be alert on a number of occasions to keep his goal intact. Shane Clarke had a chance in the 25th minute but his shot just went wide.
But it was Longford who broke the deadlock on the half hour mark when Rhys Gorman scored a well-taken goal. Wexford could have levelled seven minutes later but Darragh Walshe’s shot narrowly went the wrong side of the post.
The visitors had enough possession in the second half and eventually got their reward in the 80th minute when Eric Molloy scored from a corner.
It stunned the Town faithful with the great fear of dropping a couple of crucial league points but the response was good and five minutes later they restored their lead when Shaw found the back of the net to clinch such an important win. This result though won’t mean anything if they fail to win in Athlone and Mervue beat Wexford Youths and Waterford win against Cobh in the battle for the play-off positions. Saturday truly is Judgement Day.
LONGFORD TOWN: Chris Bennion; Noel Haverty, Chris Deans, Des Hope, Glenn O’Connor; Dean Ebbe, Rhys Gorman, Ryan Connolly, Daniel Purdy; David O’Sullivan, Josh O’Hanlon.
Subs:- David O’Neill for Haverty (injured, 17 mins), Derek O’Brien for Ebbe (64 mins); Gary Shaw for O’Hanlon (73 mins).
WEXFORD YOUTHS: Graham Doyle; Daryl Power, Gary Delaney, Robert Maloney, Brian Nolan; Eric Molloy, Shane Nolan, Paul Malone, Shane Clarke; Graham Delaney, Darragh Walshe. Sub:- Danny Fitzpatrick for Power (74 mins).
Referee: Conor Fitzgerald (Dublin).