First Division Round-up: Longford go second as Shelbourne go top and Cabo tumble to fourth

Sun, May 26 2019

Neale Fenn's side moved within a point of first-place Shelbourne. Credit:

Longford Town moved within a point of First Division leaders Shelbourne thanks to a 3-1 win over neighbours Athlone Town in the ‘Midlands Clasico’ at City Calling Stadium.

Dean Byrne scored either side of half time after Dean Williams had cancelled out Sam Verdon’s opener for the home side.

Longford came into the game on the back of successive defeats to Cabinteely and Galway United that had seen them drop from the summit to fifth place going into the game.

Just one point from their last nine games had seen Athlone slip down to ninth following a promising start, and they shipped a heavy 5-0 defeat at home to Bray Wanderers last week.

Neale Fenn’s Longford side quickly set about taking control of the tie on home turf and they lead after 15 minutes when Verdon was fouled in the box and he netted from 12 yards.

The lead lasted just a minute as Athlone regrouped and captain Aaron Brilly played in Shamrock Rovers loanee Williams to slot home his sixth goal of the season.

Byrne put Longford back in front just past the half-hour when he was picked out in the box and made no mistake from close range.

Anto Breslin rattled the crossbar with a free kick before half time and hit it again with a shot from distance early in the second half as Longford continued to dominate.

Byrne got his second, and Longford’s third, eight minutes after the break with a daisy-cutter from distance that beat Aaron Myles and sealed the points for Longford.

On Friday night, Shelbourne went top for the first time since March thanks to a nervy 1-0 win at home to Cobh Ramblers.

Ryan Brennan scored the only goal of the game just past the half-hour mark as he met Karl Moore’s fine cross with a looping header to register his fifth goal of the campaign.

Drogheda United continued their upward trajectory as they went third with a routine 3-0 win over Galway United at United Park.

Chris Lyons scored his fifth and sixth of the season, while substitute Jordan Adeyemo netted his first senior goal as Tim Clancy’s side ran out handsome winners.

Lyons opened his account after 12 minutes when he took Mark Doyle’s pass in the box and bundled the ball past goalkeeper Kevin Horgan.

He added his second shortly after the hour when he let Conor Kane’s throw-in run across his body before smashing a volley into the net.

Doyle was the provider once more a minute from time when he played through 17-year-old Adeyemo and the striker tucked his shot into the corner.

Derek Daly scored twice in seven second-half minutes as Bray Wanderers saw off the challenge of Wexford at the Carlisle Grounds.

Danny Furlong pulled one back for Wexford with a backheel but it wasn’t enough for the basement side as the Seagulls moved up to fifth.

Cabinteely dropped from first-place to fourth as they fell to their second consecutive defeat at Limerick, Connor Ellis netting the only goal in the 33rd minute.

Cabo’s Rob Manley remains top of the scoring charts, two clear of Drogheda’s Mark Doyle with Shelbourne’s Ciaran Kilduff one further back.