First
Date: 7:30 p.m. March 2, 2019
Venue: City Calling Stadium
Att: 676

Dean Byrne 62' -
Scored: 62'


Aaron Dobbs 83' -
Scored: 83'


Peter Hopkins 90' + 1' -
Scored: 90'



League Report: Longford Town 3 - 0 Drogheda United

Sat, Mar 02 2019

Chris Lyons of Drogheda is wrestled to the ground during a 2018 meeting between the sides. Credit: Larry McQuillan

Andrew Dempsey reports from City Calling Stadium

Longford Town recorded a second consecutive clean sheet for the first time since August 2018 with a 3-0 win over Drogheda United at City Calling Stadium on Saturday evening.

Goals from Dean Byrne and Aaron Dobbs, and some inspired goalkeeping from Lee Steacy, secured all three points before Peter Hopkins put the icing on the cake in second half injury time.

Longford came into the game fresh from a scoreless draw against Limerick last week while Tim Clancy’s Drogs entered the cauldron of City Calling Stadium on the back of a convincing 4-0 win over Cobh Ramblers last time.

Drogheda have found wins hard to come by the Strokestown Road venue in recent years, having only come out on top once since 2013, in a 3-2 FAI Cup classic on the banks of the Shannon.

Longford boss Neale Fenn handed home debuts to Anto Breslin, Aaron Dobbs, Conor Kenna and Paul O’Conor while Joe Manley made his first bow for the Town’s first team in a competitive setting.

Much of the talk around the game has centred around Sam Verdon, who made a sensational return to the Longford ranks after a short spell at Finn Park with recently-promoted Finn Harps.

Fenn’s side had the first opening of the game as Dobbs was fed in by the returning Verdon but, with the goal at his mercy, he was unable to find the back of the net as Paul Skinner dealt with it easily.

Tim Clancy’s side created an opening of their own soon after through Mark Doyle but Steacey saved well from close range after a quarter of an hour.

Dobbs went close again soon after, but he dragged his shot show just wide of Skinner’s goal shortly after linking up well with Byrne, who almost had a telepathic relationship with the new acquisition.

Drogheda then turned the screw and could have easily taken the lead if it wasn’t for three top-class Lee Steacey saves from point blank range.

Doyle had two great opportunities before Mark Hughes went agonisingly close quickly after. 

As the half time break approached, Dobbs skewed an effort wide of Skinner’s goal once more before Dean Byrne went mightily close as both sides went into the break level.

The second half began with a bit of a lull as neither side showed any sort of real incisiveness up front as the slow nature of the game killed any sort of momentum carrying over from the first half. 

However, the game exploded into life as Longford Town took an unexpected lead through the lively Byrne.

He latched onto a stray back pass from Mark Doyle and squeezed in between the two Drogheda centre-backs to slot past the helpless Skinner, who was making his second appearance at the stadium since his departure in 2017.

Sensing blood, Town looked for a second, but Dobbs saw his headed effort just go over the Drogheda goal from a sumptuous delivery into the box from Dean Zambra, who enjoyed a solid game.

Longford made sure of the victory seven minutes from time when Dobbs grabbed a deserved goal after he got on the end of a Shane Elworthy ball to the near post. 

Hopkins put the icing on the cake in injury time when he was fed in well by the recently-introduced Jamie Doyle and rounded Skinner to secure Longford’s first opening home league win of the season since 2013. 

Longford Town: Lee Steacey; Karl Chambers (Shane Elworthy 81), Conor Kenna, Joe Manley, Anto Breslin; Aodh Dervin, Paul O’Conor, Dean Zambra, Sam Verdon; Aaron Dobbs (Jamie Doyle 84), Dean Byrne (Peter Hopkins 86).

Subs not used: Jack Menton(gk), Mick McDonnell, Adam Evans, Sean Brennan.

Booked: Aodh Dervin (66).

Drogheda United: Paul Skinner; James Brown, Conor Kane, Luke Gallagher, Luke McNally; Sean Brennan, Adam Wixted (Stephen Meaney 73), Thomas Byrne, Mark Hughes, Mark Doyle (Luke Heaney 63); Chris Lyons. 

Subs not used: Luca Gratzer (gk), Cian Kavanagh, Sean Trimble, Luke Heaney, James Clarke, Jay Amour.

Booked: Mark Doyle (13), Conor Kane (61), James Brown (67).

Referee: Michael Connolly.

Attendance: 676 (official).

Extratime.ie Player of the Match: Lee Steacey (Longford Town).


Longford Town
Lee Steacy
Goalkeeper
Joseph Manley
Defender
Conor Kenna
Defender
Anto Breslin
Defender
Paul O'Conor
Midfielder
Aodh Dervin
66Booked: 66'
Midfielder
Karl Chambers
81'
81Subbed Off: 81'
Midfielder
Dean Zambra
Midfielder
Sam Verdon
Forward
Aaron Dobbs
83Scored: 83'
84'
84Subbed Off: 84'
Forward
Dean Byrne
62Scored: 62'
86'
86Subbed Off: 86'
Forward

Substitutes
Jack Menton
Goalkeeper
Michael McDonnell
Midfield
Peter Hopkins
86'
86Subbed On: 86'
90Scored: 90'
Midfield
Adam Evans
Forward
Shane Elworthy
81'
81Subbed On: 81'
Defender
Jamie Doyle
84'
84Subbed On: 84'
Midfield
Sean Brennan
Midfield
Drogheda United
Paul Skinner
Goalkeeper
James Brown
Defender
67Booked: 67'
Conor Kane
Defender
61Booked: 61'
Luke McNally
Defender
Luke Gallagher
Midfielder
Sean Brennan
Midfielder
Mark Hughes
Midfielder
Adam Wixted
Midfielder 73'
73Subbed Off: 73'
Mark Doyle
Forward
13Booked: 13'
63'
63Subbed Off: 63'
Thomas Byrne
Forward
Chris Lyons
Forward

Substitutes
Luca Gratzer
Goalkeeper
James Clarke
Forward
Janabi Amour
Unknown
Luke Heeney
Forward
63Subbed On: 63'
63'
Cian Kavanagh
Midfield
Stephen Meaney
Forward
73Subbed On: 73'
73'
Sean Trimble
Defender