Aodh Dervin pictured in action for Longford Town in this tussle with Dundalk opponent Sean Murray in the Premier Division clash at Bishopsgate on Monday evening Pic: Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile
A dream start paved the way for a precious point as Longford Town almost scored a shock win over Dundalk in a highly entertaining SSE Airtricity League Premier Division clash at Bishopsgate on Monday evening.
Longford Town . . . 2 Dundalk . . . 2
The Town capitalised on two terrible mistakes by the opposing keeper Peter Cherrie as goals were gifted to Dylan Grimes and Rob Manley in the 6th and 14th minutes respectively.
Dundalk got right back into contention when striker Junior Ogedi-Uzokwe hit the target from close range with 20 minutes gone on the clock but the visitors had to sweat it out before the equaliser eventually materialised late in the game.
The pressure paid off in the 82nd minute when midfield general Chris Shields planted a well struck low shot into the corner of the net but Longford stood firm during the remainder of the match to earn a deserved draw.
Just before Shields scored a mistake in the Dundalk defence presented Dean Byrne with a glorious chance of grabbing a killer third goal for Longford but his shot was blocked down and the danger was cleared.
On the evidence of their excellent first half performance, the Town are capable of getting out of relegation trouble and created a number of other good chances during the course of the game in really putting it up to Dundalk.
Dylan Grimes could hardly believe it when his speculative shot somehow evaded the grasp of Cherrie as the ball ended up in the net.
And there was even more early woe for the shaky Dundalk keeper when he fumbled a cross from Karl Chambers with the alert Rob Manley pouncing to score the second goal for Longford.
Back came Dundalk with a rather soft goal from Junior, who got the vital touch from a header from Andy Boyle after Michael Duffy fired a corner into the box.
Dean Byrne went close to restoring the two goal advantage for Longford when he was narrowly off target from a fine strike in the 36th minute and right at the start of the second half there was some redemption for Cherrie when he produced a great point-blank save to stop Rob Manley from scoring again.
Dundalk gradually got on top and a couple of clear-cut chances were squandered by Junior and substitute Ole Erik Midtskogen before Chris Shields came to the rescue to fire home the second goal with time running out.
This very positive result takes Longford Town off the bottom of the table, ahead of Waterford on goal difference, and Daire Doyle’s side have got a timely confidence boost for the next fixture away to Derry City this Friday.
LONGFORD TOWN: Michael Kelly; Shane Elworthy, Mick McDonnell, Aaron O’Driscoll, Karl Chambers; Aodh Dervin, Dean Zambra, Aaron Robinson; Dylan Grimes, Dean Byrne; Rob Manley.
Sub:- Joe Manley for Zambra (77 mins).
DUNDALK: Peter Cherrie; Raivis Jurkovskis, Daniel Cleary, Andy Boyle, Val Adedokun; Sean Murray, Greg Sloggett, Chris Shields, Michael Duffy; Patrick McEleney; Junior Ogedi-Uzokwe.
Subs:- Wilfried Zahibo for Sloggett and Ole Erik Midtskogen for McEleney (62 mins); Daniel Kelly for Murray (75 mins).
Referee: Damien McGrath (Mayo).