Longford Town FC manager Alan Mathews.
Longford Town lost more ground in the Airtricity League First Division title race when they came away from Ferrycarrig Park on Friday night last with just one point following a disappointing draw against bottom of the table Wexford.
SSE Airtricity League First Division - Round 7
Wexford FC . . . 0 Longford Town . . . 0
It was another setback for Alan Mathews and his players in the battle for the sole promotion spot and after the completion of the first phase of fixtures, Longford are stuck in seventh position and already eight points behind leaders Waterford which is a serious cause for concern.
In the seven league games played this season the Town have just scored four goals and three of those came against Athlone courtesy of a David O’Sullivan hat-trick. It’s all well and good keeping clean sheets but they need to be putting away their chances.
After their 4-3 win over Athlone Town in the EA Sports Cup the previous Tuesday evening, many felt that the goalscoring problems were sorted as O’Sullivan once again scored a hat-trick.
The stark reality is that only two Town players have scored league goals this season and if something is not done to rectify the situation they are going to continue dropping valuable points.
Wexford had early half chances in the game but once Town got into their stride they dominated the exchanges but failed to convert the chances they created.
The home nearly were nearly gifted an early opportunity to break the deadlock after Craig Hayes almost capitalised on a mix-up in the Town defence.
The opening 20 minutes was a drab affair with neither keeper being tested. As the game progressed Wexford grew in confidence with Adam Hanlon their main man but he failed to create anything to trouble Paul Skinner.
After an unproductive first half, Town manager Alan Mathews was forced to make changes at the break bringing on Jake Kelly and Dylan McGlade for David O’Sullivan and Don Cowan respectively due to injuries.
Wexford started the second half brightly in putting on some pressure. In the 54th minute Adam Hanlon took on the Town defence but he directed his effort wide. Good build-up play by Craig Hayes and Sean Hurley saw Hanlon having another chance for the home side but he directed his header over the bar.
The Town then had a great opportunity to break the deadlock in the 56th minute but Enda Curran somehow shot wide when he seemed certain to score from close range.
Finding the net seems to be a recurring problem for Curran but the Town striker was most unlucky in the 73rd minute when he hit the crossbar.
The game petered out after that with nothing of any real note as it ended scoreless and the Town need to start getting goals quickly in their stuttering league campaign with the next clash against Shelbourne at City Calling Stadium on Saturday night, kick-off 7.30pm.
WEXFORD: Corey Chambers; Craig McCabe, Ross Kenny, Sean Hurley, Owen McCormack; Adam Hanlon, Shane Dunne, Craig Wall, Ricky Fox; Craig Hayes, Eoin Porter.
Subs:- Danny Doyle for Hayes (77 mins); Thomas Croke for Porter (79 mins).
LONGFORD TOWN: Paul Skinner; Aidan Friel, Stephen Walsh, Daniel O’Reilly, Tristan Noack Hofmann; Don Cowan, Dean Zambra, Kevin O’Connor, Cody Mulhall; David O’Sullivan, Enda Curran.
Subs:- Jake Kelly for O’Sullivan (injured, half-time); Dylan McGlade for Cowan (injured, half-time); Gavin Boyne for Curran (81 mins).
Referee: Patrick O'Connor (Kilkenny)