David O’Sullivan was the hero for Longford Town as the Midlanders started the season with a convincing win against a very much depleted Salthill Devon side.
The FAI Intermediate Player of the Year took home the match ball after a second-half hat-trick; his first goals for the club. Another new signing Josh O’Hanlon also made a name for himself grabbing his first goal on his league debut.
It was very much a night for firsts in Drom as Daniel Purdy’s opening goal for the Town in the 11th minute was the first goal of the new season.
Purdy had chance minutes before that to open the scoring. Keith Quinn played a lovely ball over the top to Gary Shaw and his headed the ball fell into Purdy’s path but the youngster’s shot was just wide.
After Town broke the deadlock they failed to create many clear-cut chances to add to their tally. Gary Shaw had a chance while Willo McDonagh’s header was saved by Salthill keeper James Keane.
The home side failed to create anything of note in the opening half but had their first effort on goal five minutes from the break; Nicky Curran’s shot just going wide.
After a poor first-half the Town upped their game in the second-half. Salthill did have an early chance when Curran’s free was deflected out for a corner in the 49th minute before the visitors took control of proceedings.
In the 56th minute they doubled their advantage; O’Hanlon did very well to get into the box and play a neat ball over to O’Sullivan who grabbed his first goal for the club from close range.
The same pair combined in the 64th minute only the roles were reversed; O’Sullivan with the pass and this time O’Hanlon with the finish to open up his Town account.
Two minutes later the Town added another goal; former Salthill player Etanda Nkololo setting up O’Sullivan for his second of the night. Town continued to press and Salthill just couldn’t find a way to contain them.
Just before the end Corie Treacy played the ball to O’Sullivan and the poacher found the net for his hat-trick. It was no more than his performance deserved.
A comfortable win in the end for the Town but they’ll face sterner tests in the next few weeks.
Salthill Devon: James Keane; Nicky Curran, Eugene Greaney, Jimmy McGlynn, Cian Fadden (Adam Hynes 84); Gerry Dolan (Colm Horgan 58), Craig Harding, Brian Gaffney, Timmy Molloy; Jean Biansumba, Jakub Tomanica (Stephen Rudden 72).
Subs not used: Ronan Forde.
Longford Town: Chris Bennion; Corie Treacy, Willo McDonagh, Brian McCarthy, Willie Tyrell; Daniel Purdy, Mark Salmon, Keith Gillespie, Keith Quinn (Etanda Nkololo 36); Gary Shaw (Josh O’Hanlon 39 (Gavin Doyle 81), David O’Sullivan.
Subs not used: Paul Hunt, Chris Deans, Michael Lee.
Booked: Keith Quinn (21).
Referee: Kevin O’Regan.
Attendance: 100 (estimate).
Extratime.ie Man of the Match: David O’Sullivan (Longford Town).