Monday night is traditionally soap night but there was more drama in the last few minutes in Flancare Park than you would get on your tv screens.
As the clock ticked down it looked like UCD had secured their place in the second round of the EA Sports Cup but Town’s Don Cowan had other ideas equalising in the 90th minute. Extra-time beckoned but two minutes into additional time Graham Rusk won the game for the students; although he appeared to be offside.
After making a bright start, disaster struck for the home side in the 7th minute when they fell behind. It was a very bad goal to give away from the home side’s point of view. Mark Langtry with the cross from the left and Graham Rusk finished from close range.
The visitors were buoyed up by the goal. Don Cowan had a chance shortly after to equalise for the Town. Aidan Roche played the ball into the striker but his tame effort was easily saved by UCD netminder Mark McGinley.
Town offered nothing in that opening half and in the 23rd minute the students doubled their advantage. Town netminder Alvin Rouse pushed Robbie Benson over in the box and referee Neil Doyle pointed to the spot; Robbie Creevy duly dispatched the penalty.
Five minutes later and UCD wasted a glorious opportunity to extend their lead. Benson put in Langtry but with Rouse out of goals he blasted his shot over the bar.
Aidan Roche should’ve done better with his effort seven minutes after the restart. It really was poor from the Town winger especially in front of goal.
Roche was the culprit again in the 62nd minute. Cowan got down the wing and played a superb ball into the box, Roche attempted to backheel the ball when it was easier to shoot and UCD were able to clear.
It was all Town at this stage as they tried to get back into the game. The UCD defence were being but under severe pressure as the home side pressed. They were handed a lifeline in the 71st minute when Creevy bundled Cowan over in the box. Mark Salmon coolly blasted his spot-kick past McGinley.
Town defender Paddy Collins thought he had equalised in the 77th minute but his glancing header bounced wide of McGinley’s far post.
Longford Town: Alvin Rouse, Niall O'Reilly, Chris Deans, Paddy Collins, Gary Cronin, Aidan Roche, Thomas Hyland, Mark Salmon, Jacques Morley, Don Cowan, Austin Skelly. Subs used: Paul Hunt for Rouse 30mins, Cathal Brady for Roche 63mins, Lee Roche for Skelly 67mins.
UCD: Mark McGinley, Paul O'Connor, Ciaran Nangle, Tomas Boyle, David O'Connor, Daniel Ledwith, Robbie Benson, Robbie Creevy, Graham Rusk, Stephen Doyle, Mark Langtry. Subs used: James Kavanagh for Benson 69mins, Dave Marshall for Ledwith 73mins.