Longford won the battle for sixth place at the City Calling Stadium on Friday evening as they ran out comfortable 4-2 victors over a poor Derry side. After cruising into a 4-0 lead Longford conceded two late goals after letting their foot off the gas for the last portion of the game.
Both sides started the contest very slowly which was no surprise given the fact that this final game would have no consequences for either side. After an opening period vacant of genuine chances Longford went close on the half hour mark. Kevin O’Connor, who was superb throughout, forced a great save from Derry keeper Shaun Patton who had to dive low to tip O’Connor’s long range effort around the post.
Longford, who were the better side in the first half, did get their deserved goal at the very end of the half. Derry right back Rob Cornwall was adjudged to have handled the ball by referee Robert Hennessy who quickly pointed to the spot. David O’Sullivan stepped up and dispatched the penalty confidently despite Patton in the Derry goal getting a hand to it.
Derry caretaker boss Paul Hegarty moved quickly at half time to make a few adjustments to his side bringing on both Mark Quigley and Ronan Curtis in an attempt to inject some attacking presence in the Derry forward charge.
However it was to no avail as the game carried on from the trend set in the first half with Longford the better side all over the field. And their dominance was asserted after 56 minutes when Mark Rossiter extended the hosts’ lead. The Longford defender took aim from 40 yards and beat Shaun Patton in the Derry goal who arguably should have done better however the opportunism and finish from Rossiter must be commended.
It took Longford just seven more minutes before they rubbed salt into the Derry wounds. Gary Shaw rose highest in the Derry area to convert his free header to put Longford three to the good. And five minutes later scorer Shaw turned provider when he won a penalty to give Longford the chance to put the game out of sight after 68 minutes. A chance that was well taken by Pat Sullivan who scored from 12 yards.
Longford were guilty of letting their foot off the pedal in the remaining quarter with Derry getting, what turned out to be merely consolation goals. Firstly through a Ronan Curtis header after 76 minutes and secondly through Rob Cornwall who poked home after a scramble in the Longford box just before the 90 regulation minutes were up.
Shortly after time was called on the goal fest in which the fans really got their money’s worth in terms of goals. The result sees Longford finish the season in sixth place with Derry just below in seventh.
Longford Town: Paul Hunt; Rhys Gorman, Conor Powell, Mark Rossiter, Pat Sullivan; Ayman Ben Mohamed, Philip Gannon, Kevin O’Connor (Mark Salmon 74), Stephen Rice; David O’Sullivan (Kaleem Simon 70), Gary Shaw (Dean Kelly 70).
Derry City: Shaun Patton; Rob Cornwall, Ryan McBride, Aaron Barry, Patrick McClean; Stephen Dooley, Patrick McEleney, Barry McNamee, Aaron McEneff; Ciaran O’Connor (Mark Quigley 46), Mark Timlin (Ronan Curtis 46).
Referee: Robert Hennessy
Extratime.ie Man of the Match: Kevin O’Connor (Longford Town)