Longford Town have to settle for a scoreless draw against UCD

SSE Airtricity League First Division

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airtricity league first division

Longford Town FC back in competitive action

Although they created the better chances at the UCD Bowl on the return to football in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, Longford Town failed to find the back of the net in the First Division clash on Friday night.

UCD . . . 0     Longford Town . . . 0

Playing their first competitive fixture since the brilliant win away to Drogheda United at the end of February, Daire Doyle’s side had to settle for a scoreless draw against UCD. 

UCD played some good football in the first half while the Town were a different proposition on the changeover. Dylan Grimes was brought on for the second half and he made a huge difference in helping to create a number of chances.

The students had the first chance inside the fourth minute when Liam Kerrigan’s long range shot was blocked down by Sam Verdon and Town keeper Lee Steacy was able to gather the ball. 

Kerrigan was lively and caused problems. Colm Whelan had a great opportunity to break the deadlock on 18 minutes but after composing himself to take a shot he put the ball over the bar.

As the first half wore on UCD put the Longford defence under pressure and they were forced to concede a number of corners but fortunately for the Town nothing came from them.

The visitors had a good chance on 36 minutes but James English was denied by an excellent tackle from Dara Keane. UCD were on top and on 41 minutes Town defender Aaron McNally produced a timely tackle to prevent the home side from opening the scoring.

Just before the break Longford had a great chance but UCD keeper Lorcan Healy pulled off an excellent save to deny Rob Manley and while the breaking ball fell to Sam Verdon he blasted his shot over the bar.

Whatever Longford Town manager Daire Doyle said to his charges at the interval worked because they upped their game considerably  in the second half. The introduction of Dylan Grimes gave them a different outlet and he made a big impact.

Grimes was just two minutes on the pitch when he set Verdon up from a corner but he headed the ball wide. Grimes was dangerous from set pieces and helped create another chance on 50 minutes from another corner but unlucky for Manley he couldn’t get a proper connection and the ball went wide.

Against the run of play UCD came close to scoring on 52 minutes but Town defender Dylan Hand did very well to get his head to a Michael Gallagher cross and Steacy was able to claim the ball.

The Town enjoyed plenty of possession but were unable to break the deadlock while UCD looked dangerous on the counter attack. On 64 minutes Steacy was forced to save from Liam Kerrigan.

UCD keeper  Healy deflected Manley’s effort out for a corner while Grimes was unlucky in shooting over the bar on 85 minutes as the game ended in stalemate.

The Town are back in action against Bray Wanderers at Bishopsgate on the Bank Holiday Monday next (August 3) and will be hoping to get back on the winning trail. 

UCD: Lorcan Healy; Evan Osam, Michael Gallagher, Evan Farrell, Josh Collins; Liam Kerrigan, Jack Keaney, Dara Keane, Paul Doyle, Mark Dignam; Colm Whelan.

Sub:- Yoyo Mahdy for Keane (66 mins). 

LONGFORD TOWN: Lee Steacy; Shane Elworthy, Dylan Hand, Michael McDonnell, Aaron McNally; Aodh Dervin, Dean Zambra; James English, Lido Lotefa, Rob Manley, Sam Verdon.

Subs:- Dylan Grimes for Lotefa (half-time); Niall Barnes for English (78 mins); Callum Warfield for Manley (81 mins). 

Referee: Alan Patchell.