Date: 8 p.m. May 8, 2009
Venue: Tolka Park
Longford went into the match on a run of seven straight defeats but started the game much sharper. The visitors were quick to close down Shelbourne who really didn’t find their rhythm in the opening stages. Jim Sheridan was first in the referee’s notebook on 13 minutes after he pulled down Peter Hynes on the left wing. Cassidy swung in the resulting free kick but Fenenlly did well to punch clear.
The first chance fell to Longford after Gough’s cross found the head of Concannon. The wingers glancing header looked like it was going in but Delaney got down well to save. Shelbourne’s first opportunity fell to Dave McAllister. The ex Drogheda man was bearing down on goal but Fennelly was quick off his line to narrow the angle.
Longford took the lead on 25 minutes following great link up play by Lynch and Concannon. The winger skipped past the challenges of the defenders and his cross was met by Glynn in the box. Delaney saved the strikers shot but Jason McCartney was on hand to tap the rebound into the empty net and give the visitors the lead.
Carman Russo was the second Longford player booked after he was guilty of obstructing Alan Keely just after the half hour mark. The visitor’s front trio of Concannon, Glynn and Lynch were causing Shels problems and Dermot Keely decided to change things shortly before half time. He brought on Derek Doyle for Dave McAllister but Longford held on going into the break.
After the restart the Reds started at a frantic pace with David Cassidy’s early crossing testing Fennelly in the Longford goal. Shels were almost hit on the break soon after when Jinks played a defence splitting pass to Lynch. The striker turned inside Keely but his left footed shot was saved by Delaney. They escaped this time but were punished just a few minutes later.
Michael Lee was brought on for Gough in the 53 minute and the substitute had an immediate impact, setting up Longford’s second. After collecting a pass from Lynch he found himself free on the left and jumped over Brennan’s sliding tackle leaving the defender for dead. Lee fed the ball inside to Glynn who kept his composure to slot the ball into the Shelbourne goal.
Jason McCartney was the third Town player booked in the 55th minute as Shels refused to lie down and started to lay siege to the visitor’s goal. Peter Hynes saw his 61st minute header cleared off the line while Derek Doyle was guilty of poor finishing when he only had the keeper to beat.
Kenny was booked for time wasting as Dermot Keely brought on McMillan for Alan Keely. The home side desperately needed a goal and it duly arrived in the 71st minute but not without a share of controversy. Doyle’s corner found Paddy Madden whose powerful header was going in. His effort though was handled inches behind the line by a combination of King and Jinks. Neil Callanan reached for his red card and awarded a penalty but after consulting with his assistant referee he decided to award a goal and not show the red card.
The Tolka crowd were now in full voice as they sensed an equaliser. Madden almost provided it when he outmuscled Kenny and fired his shot under the legs of Fennelly but it went inches wide. Longford made their final change bringing on Murphy for Concannon as they tried to close the game. They were unable to do so. The introduction of Derek Doyle was a big reason why Shels improved in the second half and it was his cross that led to the equaliser. Anto Flood’s pass found the substitute on the right wing and his low delivery was met by Madden sliding in at the near post.
Shelbourne almost won it right at the death when Doyle’s quick feet got him around Lee. His cross almost embarrassed the keeper who was lost the flight of the ball but luckily for Longford it scraped the top of the bar and went over as Alan Gough’s men collected their first away point of the season.
Shelbourne: Delaney, Quigley, Hedderman, Keely (McMillan), Brennan, O’Brien, McAllister (Doyle) , Cassidy, Hynes, Flood, Madden. Subs Not Used: Baker, Murray, Whelan.
Longford Town: Fennelly, King, Gough (Lee), Kenny, Sheridan, Jinks, Concanon (Murphy), Russo, Glynn, Lynch, McCartney . Subs Not Used: Murtagh, Curran, Hoare Attendance: 775