The win over Wexford at City Calling Stadium on Saturday marked the departure of Alan Mathews as manager of Longford Town FC. Photo: Syl Healy
Longford Town produced their best performance of the season in scoring five goals in the easy win over Wexford FC at City Calling Stadium on Saturday evening and which turned out to be the last game in charge for manager Alan Mathews in his second spell with the club.
SSE Airtricity League First Division - Round 14
Longford Town . . . 5 Wexford FC . . . 0
Struggling in the First Division this season with the club currently 13 points behind the leaders Waterford FC, the results were clearly not good enough and Mathews was obviously in a precarious position.
Longford Town FC made the following announcement following the home fixture against the bottom club Wexford which was watched by the very small official attendance of 211.
‘Longford Town wish to announce that by mutual consent, the club and First Team Manager Alan Mathews have parted ways. We thank Alan for his efforts and wish him all the best in his future endeavours. Gary Cronin will take charge of the first team for next week's game v Shelbourne.’
In his first spell as manager of Longford Town FC, Mathews guided the club to back-to-back FAI Cup triumphs in 2003 and 2004 along with the League Cup success in 2004.
So the search begins for a new manager, ironically as Longford Town got back on track with a comprehensive victory over Wexford that certainly pleased the loyal home supporters in that a lot of constructive football was played.
While injuries ruled out attackers David O’Sullivan, Don Cowan, Enda Curran and Cody Mulhall, there was some good news on the casualty front with defender Noel Haverty back in action (brought on late in the game) following a long term absence dating back to the opening league game this season against Shelbourne at Tolka Park back at the end of February.
The first of the five goals was scored as early as the 3rd minute when Dylan McGlade blasted the ball to the back of the net, after connecting perfectly with a right wing cross from Kealan Dillon.
While both sides created chances throughout the first half it remained at 1-0 until the 40th minute. Jake Kelly played a defence splitting pass through to Gavin Boyne, whose shot was saved by opposing keeper Graham Doyle, but the ball broke kindly for Dean Zambra who made no mistake from a few yards out to leave Longford leading by 2-0 at the break.
From there on the Town were in cruise control with the influential midfield general Kevin O’Connor firing home the third goal in the 53rd minute and things went from bad to worse for youthful Wexford when Dean Zambra got in the clear to find the back of the net for the second time in the game with 68 minutes gone on the clock.
The demolition job was complete in the 72nd minute when Jake Kelly set up the industrious Kealan Dillon for a cracking fifth goal in the game that marked the departure of Alan Mathews as manager of Longford Town FC.
On a final note, it was good to see another local lad Aodh Dervin getting a run with the first team when he replaced captain Kevin O’Connor in the 81st minute.
LONGFORD TOWN (4-4-2): Paul Skinner; Aidan Friel, Daniel O’Reilly, Stephen Walsh, Tristan Noack-Hofmann; Kealan Dillon, Kevin O’Connor, Dean Zambra, Dylan McGlade; Gavin Boyne, Jake Kelly.
Subs:- Noel Haverty for O’Reilly (75 mins); Karl Chambers for Kelly (81 mins); Aodh Dervin for O’Connor (81 mins).
WEXFORD FC (4-4-2): Graham Doyle; Mark Slater, Craig McCabe, Ross Kenny, Owen McCormack; Conor Sutton, Craig Wall, Thomas Croke, Sean Hurley; Liam Donnelly, Lee Duffy.
Subs:- Danny Doyle for Duffy (62 mins); Andy O’Connor for Sutton (62 mins); Dean George for Hurley (71 mins).
Referee: David Berry