Longford Town manager Alan Mathews, who must be wondering what is going wrong this season.
Struggling to make any sort of impact in the First Division all season and a cause of great concern for manager Alan Mathews, the tale of woe continued for Longford Town as they lost out to table toppers Waterford at the RSC on Friday evening last.
SSE Airtricity League First Division - Round 13
Waterford FC . . . 1 Longford Town . . . 0
Few can argue with the fact that the midlanders league title hopes are now in tatters following this severe setback which leaves them 15 points behind the firm promotion favourites Waterford who remain on course for a return to the Premier Division.
The Town knew they had to achieve a positive result at the RSC to put some pressure on Waterford but it was not to be with Derek Daly’s well struck goal in the 12th minute deciding the outcome in front of the official attendance of 1,294.
The problems that hampered the Town last season have not been rectified and they are costing them again in the current campaign, conceding goals and not converting the chances they are creating.
On paper Longford looked to have assembled a decent squad that could challenge for the sole promotion spot but some players have failed to live up to their reputation or hype that came with their arrival at the club.
Looking at the league table, Cobh are just two points behind Waterford and 13 ahead of Longford and Ramblers are basically a young, local side so supposedly significant signings don’t always guarantee success.
The Town had the first chance against Waterford in the 6th minute but Daniel O’Reilly headed over from a Jake Kelly corner. Dylan McGlade was the next to come close for the visitors; Tristan Noack-Hofmann with the cross but McGlade’s effort went just wide of the target.
Longford were left to rue those missed chances when Waterford broke the deadlock in the 12th minute in capitalising on a poor defensive clearance that went astray. Derek Daly latched on to the ball from about 25 yards out and beat the Town keeper Paul Skinner with a clinical shot to the corner of the net.
Alan Mathews were forced to reshuffle things in the 33rd minute when Enda Curran went off injured and he was replaced by Gavin Boyne. Three minutes later and McGlade brought a good save out of Waterford keeper Matthew Connor.
In the 38th minute the home side had a chance to double their advantage; Davy McDaid with the cross into Conor Whittle but he curled his effort wide.
In the early stages of the second half McDaid that was in a good position to score but a cross from the left had too much power and height on it and the former Derry City player was unable to connect with the ball.
In the 58th minute Patrick McClean forced Skinner into making a fine save and while the rebound fell to McDaid, Town defender Stephen Walsh did well to clear the ball off the line.
After being out of the game, the Town had a couple of good chances in quick succession to equalise but the Jake Kelly headers failed to really trouble opposing keeper Connor.
Waterford regained the upper hand with Kenny McEvoy coming close to getting their second goal in the 77th minute after getting on the end of a Derek Daly cross but his header at the back post just went wide.
Minutes later McEvoy became the provider when he picked out Dean Walsh but his effort was blocked by the Town defence as the Blues went in search of another goal to put the issue beyond all doubt on their way to collecting all three valuable points.
Longford Town are in a bad place at the moment and will be looking to get back on the winning trail when they take on bottom of the table Wexford at City Calling Stadium on Saturday evening next in a bid to improve their very poor position in the league.
WATERFORD FC: Matthew Connor; Robin Dempsey, Conor Whittle, Kenny Browne, Patrick McClean; Kenny McEvoy, Derek Daly, John Martin, Shane O’Connor; Anthony McAlavey, Davy McDaid.
Sub:- Dean Walsh for McDaid (75 mins).
LONGFORD TOWN: Paul Skinner; Mark Langtry, Daniel O’Reilly, Stephen Walsh, Tristan Noack-Hofmann; Dylan McGlade, Dean Zambra, Kevin O’Connor, Kealan Dillon, Jake Kelly; Enda Curran.
Subs:- Gavin Boyne for Curran (injured, 33 mins); Aidan Friel for Langtry (injured, 44 mins).
Referee: John McLoughlin (Athlone).