Longford Town travelled to Finn Park on Sunday last not only in search of their second win in the league but also to stop the home side wrapping up the U-19 league title. But after only 15 minutes Longford were left with ten men on the pitch for about ten minutes when winger Darren Carberry was forced off to receive attention after he was subjected to a two footed tackle from one of the Harps defenders. There was understandable upset from the Town bench as the referee failed to issue even a yellow card for a tackle that looked to be a certain red.
Despite Longford having the better of the spoils in the first half both teams went in level at the break. But Finn Harps came out for the second half and immediately started to dominate. Within the first 6 minutes Town keeper Devlin was called upon to make two great saves. Following the second save the Harps number 8 was lucky to remain on the field as he received only a yellow card for a robust challenge on Gallagher which resulted in yet another Town player being taken off the pitch for treatment.
Just as he rejoined the game Harps played a speculative ball into the Town box which was met by the Harps striker who got between two of the Town defenders and sent the ball past Devlin. Not long after the goal Longford were on the attack again when Cheevers played the ball across goal but neither Cosgrave nor Araujo could get the vital touch to even things up.
On 68 minutes Carberry was finally forced to retire with his injury and was replaced by Tommy Cooney. From here on Harps continued to push on in search of the goal to put the game beyond doubt. In the 83rd and 89th minute Conor Devlin showed why he is one of the best keepers in the league when he pulled off two top class saves.
As the game moved into injury time Gallagher made a tackle on the edge of the box which the referee deemed to be a foul and unfortunately for the away side the resulting free kick took a wicked deflection and made its way past Devlin into the back of the net.
This was to be the last action of the game and with this result the home side clinched the league title. In the midst of their celebrations the Harps fans still found time to give keeper Devlin an ovation off the pitch which was fitting for the player who had made some superb saves throughout the game.
Next up for Longford will be the last game of the league season at home to Cup finalists Dundalk on Saturday week at 2pm.
The Longford Town U-19 team and management would like to thank Spar Express on the Dublin Road. in Longford for their kind sponsorship.
LONGFORD TOWN: Conor Devlin, Sean Flannery, Efe Siode, Shane O’Connell, Cillian Glacken, Leo Araujo, Dean Cosgrave, Ciaran Fagan, Padraig Gallagher, Paddy Cheevers, Darren Carberry.
Sub:- Tommy Cooney for Carberry (68 mins).