Longford Town staged a remarkable comeback to claim a victory away to Cobh Ramblers on Saturday night and move back to the top of the First Division table.
Twice in the game Ramblers were two goals to the good but twice the Town fought back and their persistence paid off in additional time when Daniel Purdy scored the winner.
It had been 13 years since the Town last played in St. Colman’s Park. That was Easter Saturday 2000 when they gained promotion to the Premier Division. There was no major prize on Saturday night except three points but they were valuable points as Longford look to continue their promotion push. Cobh boss Dave Hill will take a lot of confidence from his side's ability to score three goals.
Town were missing several players for this trip to Cork and the squad was stretched; they didn’t expect the home side’s start to the game. Within the opening seven minutes of the game the Ramblers found themselves 2-0 up.
Conor Meade broke the deadlock when he headed past Town keeper Chris Bennion in the 3rd minute. Davin O’Neill, now in his second spell with the club, doubled his side’s advantage in the 7th minute when his volley beat Bennion.
Town were stunned a little and tried hard to get back into the game forcing Ramblers keeper Robert Birdsall into making a double save. They did pull a goal back in the 20th minute when Willo McDonagh headed home from a corner.
Town failed to get another goal and were made rue that three minutes into the second-half when the home side restored their two goal advantage; O’Neill getting his second goal of the game. It looked as if the home side were going to record a home win and Town were to fall to their second defeat in a row.
But last year the Town showed resilience and great fighting spirit down in Mervue and the same characteristics were evident again on Saturday night. In the 66th minute they got their second goal of the game; David O’Sullivan with a superb strike – his fifth goal of the season.
Seven minutes from time the Town got an equaliser; Mark Salmon’s looping header eluded Ramblers keeper Birdsall, bounced off the underside of the crossbar and into the net. Suddenly it was game on.
Cobh were content with a point but the Town sensed they could get a win and went in search of a late equaliser. Just when it looked like the Town would draw their first game of the season substitute Daniel Purdy got the winner with virtually the last play of the game. The comeback was complete.
This Saturday night (6th April) the Town welcome Mervue Utd to City Calling Stadium in a top of the table clash. The Galway side have made a terrific start to the season and are always a hard side to beat. Town will be buoyed up for that game after this result in Cobh. The Cork side now face a trip to Galway to take on Salthill Devon.
Cobh Ramblers: Robert Birdsall; Brendan Frahill, Brian Fitzgerald, Andrew Bhandarkar (Roy Kenny 27), Adam Thompson; John Meade, Bobby Donoghue (Alan O'Flynn 85), Martin Deady, Michael O’Shea; Conor Meade, Davin O’Neill.
Subs not used: .
Longford Town: Chris Bennion; Willo McDonagh, Chris Deans, Brian McCarthy, Willie Tyrell; David O’Neill (Daniel Purdy 62), Mark Salmon, Keith Gillespie (Gavin Doyle 89), Etanda Nkololo; David O’Sullivan, Josh O’Hanlon (Gary Shaw 62).
Subs not used: .
Referee: Sean Grant.