Sat 07 Jul 2012
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At a GlanceLongford Town failed to capitalise on Limerick losing to Waterford United by dropping two points against their local rivals Athlone Town in the third installment of El Classico on Saturday night.
Longford Town failed to capitalise on Limerick losing to Waterford United by dropping two points against their local rivals Athlone Town in the third installment of El Classico on Saturday night.
Tony Cousins’ side completely dominated the game but their inability to put away the chances they created cost them the win. It was a combination of wayward shooting from Longford and some good saves from keeper Pat Jennings that helped Athlone claim the point. They actually could have, and should have, grabbed an unlikely goal four minutes from time when substitute Jordan Conroy dragged his shot wide with Longford keeper Craig Hyland beaten.
The quality of football on show was very poor and referring to this game as El Classico is really stretching it because it was El Dire. It was hard to see that this was the league leaders in action against their biggest and nearest rivals.
Less than one minute had elapsed on the clock when Longford created their first chance of the game; Thomas Crawley with the cross into Karl Bermingham but Athlone defender Joe Woods got a touch to put it out for a corner. Three minutes later and the visitors had their first chance through former Longford player Eric Molloy; Barry O’Mahony set up Molloy and his effort was pushed out for a corner by Hyland.
The home side started to get in control of the game and began to create opportunities. In the eighth minute Jennings had to bring off an excellent save to deny Crawley who struck a powerful shot from close range. The corner that was taken by Alan Kirby was headed over by Longford defender Willo McDonagh.
Alan Kirby should’ve done better in the 23rd minute but he headed over from about six yards out. Six minutes later Kirby’s free was headed over by McDonagh. After being under the cosh for so long Athlone should’ve opened the scoring in the 35th minute; Jason Hughes played the ball out wide to Noel McGee but his shot was directed out by the foot of Hyland for a corner.
The home side started the second half like they had the first and four minutes in Kirby had a chance but his shot went over the bar. Despite enjoying the possession Longford didn’t create their next chance until the 59th minute when defender Michael Lee went on a mazy run into the box and his effort was deflected out for a corner.
In the 65th minute a lovely move involving Crawley and Kirby ended up with Jamie Duffy in the box but he really should’ve done a lot better when in a very good position. Duffy had a chance to make amends in the 72nd minute but he headed wide from a Kirby free.
It was all Longford as Athlone were content to soak up the pressure and at a number of times in the second half every player was in their own half. After being out of the game for so long Athlone had their first chance of the half in the 75th minute; Brian Gill played the ball to substitute Jordan Conroy but his touch lets him down and the ball got away from him.
As the clock ticked down Longford continued to apply the pressure in the hope of breaking the deadlock. In the 79th minute a pinpoint cross from Crawley was met by Colly James but Jennings got the slightest of touches on it to prevent it from going in. Two minutes later and James turned provider but substitute Tony Griffiths directed his header wide. Then Kirby had a chance in the 83rd minute but his goal-bound effort was blocked down.
Completely against the run of play Athlone should have got a goal in the 86th minute; Brian Gill laid the ball off to Conroy but his shot went just inches wide. It was a let-off for Longford.
In the final minutes Longford continued to press for a goal; another substitute Daniel Purdy had two chances to sneak the win. In the 88th minute he shot wide and one minute into additional time he headed wide from Noel Haverty’s cross.
Longford Town: Craig Hyland; Colly James, Noel Haverty, Willo McDonagh, Michael Lee (Daniel Purdy 76); Alan Kirby, Keith Gillespie, Mark Salmon, Thomas Crawley; Gary Shaw (Tony Griffiths 71), Karl Bermingham (Jamie Duffy 62).
Subs not used: Paul Hunt, Chris Deans, Craig Walsh, Niall O’Reilly.
Athlone Town: Pat Jennings; Damien Rushe, Joe Woods, Stephen Last (Ross Kenny 72), Kevin Williamson; Eric Molloy (Jordan Conroy 74), Val Feeney (Mark Walsh 69), Barry O’Mahony, Brian Gill, Jason Hughes; Noel McGee.
Subs not used: Gareth Higgins, Lee Seung, Ethan Keogh.
Bookings: Williamson (10), Walsh (78), McGee (90 +2).
Referee: Alan Mullally.
Attendance: 500 (estimate)
extratime.ie Man of the Match: Michael Lee (Longford Town).