FAI Cup R3
Date: 7:30 p.m. June 4, 2010
Venue: City Calling Stadium
In the past decade these sides have met six times in the cup with the Town coming out on top in all those occasions; the most memorable being the 2004 Cup Final. While there wasn’t the same drama in Flancare as there was in Lansdowne Road all those years ago this game still was in the balance right up until the end.
It was the home side that started the livelier; full-back Niall O’Reilly saw his dipping shot from the right clip the crossbar in the 8th minute. One minute later Waterford were dealt a blow when they were reduced to 10 men after keeper Chris Konopka brought down Mark Salmon in the box. Referee Paul Tuite pointed straight to the spot and showed the netminder a red card.
Up stepped Ex-Blues midfielder John Lester and he blasted his spot-kick past Blues substitute keeper Kevin Burns. Cathal Brady had a chance to double Town’s advantage in the 17th minute but the advancing Burns did well to deny the winger who hesitated instead of shooting when he had the chance.
Such was the Town’s dominance in the first half goalkeeper Aaron Shanahan wasn’t tested once by Waterford.
In an exciting second half there were chances at both ends as this tie really opened up. The Town started the second half the way they had the first and less than five minutes in had an another goal attempt. Waterford defender Seamus Long fouled Peter Hynes just on the edge of the box but Dave Freeman’s curling free-kick went over. One minute later Craig Mooney decided to test his luck but Burns got a touch to the midfielder’s powerful low drive.
It was all Town at this stage and Salmon’s snapshot just flashed wide of the far post in the 55th minute. The first save Waterford brought out of Shanahan came in the 57th minute when John Kearney’s free from the right was fisted away by the netminder.
It was Town full-back Mike Lee’s turn to take a shot at goal in the 64th minute. Lester played a short corner to Lee but his curling shot from about 25 yards out just went inches wide.
The Town had a real let-off in the 69th minute. Paul McCarthy played in Vinny Sullivan, he rounded the advancing Shanahan, but his effort was superbly cleared off the line by Chris Deans who had raced back.
Shanahan though made amends for that mistake six minutes later when Waterford were awarded a penalty after when Thomas Hyland was adjudged to have bundled over Liam Kearney in the box. The Corkman dusted himself down to take the kick but it was expertly saved by Shanahan.
Waterford kept pressing for an equaliser; three minutes from time John Kearneys powerful free-kick came off the upright. It just wasn’t their night and Town held on for another famous cup win.
Longford Town: Aaron Shanahan, Niall O’Reilly, Chris Deans, John Lester, Mike Lee, Cathal Brady, Thomas Hyland, Mark Salmon, Craig Mooney, Peter Hynes, Dave Freeman.
Subs: Victor Ekanem for O’Reilly 20 mins, Derek Glynn for Hynes 71 mins, Fiachra McArdle for Brady 83mins
Not used: Kevin Cronin, Gary Cronin, Justin Perrin, Stephen Conlon.
Waterford United: Chris Konopka, Paul Carey, Seamus Long, Kevin Murray, John Kearney, James O’Sullivan, John Hayes, Paul McCarthy, Liam Kearney, Willie John Kiely, Vinny Sullivan.
Subs: Kevin Burns for Kiely 10mins, Kevin Waters for Hayes 61mins, Gary Keane for O’Sullivan 84mins
Not used: David Grincell, Timmy Purcell, Gareth Cambridge.
Referee: Paul Tuite (Dublin)
Extratime Man of the Match: Mark Salmon (Longford Town)