Gareth Danaher reports from City Calling Stadium
Longford Town moved back to the top of the SSE Airtricity First Division with goals from Michael McDonnell and Peter Hopkins helping them to beat Bray Wanderers on Saturday night at the City Calling Stadium.
The game was only eight minutes in before the first goal arrived. Anto Breslin’s corner picked out Michael McDonnell who towered over the Bray defence and his header found the back of the net.
The Seagulls never really got going after conceding so early. They failed to create a clear chance of their own until the last few minutes of the first half, leaving their manager Gary Cronin looking furiously on from the side line.
The Black and Red pushed on for a second goal and it inevitably came on the 34th minute. Aodh Dervin broke the Bray defence with an eye capturing pass to find winger Peter Hopkins. He drifted calmly around Bray goalkeeper Gabriel Sava and slotted in the home side’s second.
Bray did have one opportunity before they break and they almost pulled a goal back two minutes from the half time whistle but Killian Cantwell’s shot spun just wide of Lee Steacy’s post.
The second half started off brightly for Longford, much like the first half with them having positive chances, shots fired from range from Dervin and Sam Verdon.
Longford almost went three up on 78 minutes. An excellent reverse pass from Sean Brennan found Verdon in space on the edge of the Bray box but his curling effort was collected well by Sava in the Bray goal.
Neale Fenn’s men remain at the top of the table and will take their unbeatan record in the First Division this season with them to Cobh Ramblers next Saturday.
Bray Wanderers, who sit in sixth and trail De Town by five points will host Drogheda United at the Carlisle Grounds on Friday evening.
Longford Town: Lee Steacy; Conor Kenna, Shane Elworthy, Anto Breslin, Michael McDonnell, Peter Hopkins (Karl Chambers 89), Aodh Dervin, Sean Brennan (Paul O’Conor 89), Dean Zambra, Adam Evans (Dean Byrne 81), Sam Verdon.
Subs not used: Jack Menton (gk), Jamie Doyle, Kevin Knight, Joe Manley.
Booked: Conor Kenna (37).
Bray Wanderers: Gabriel Sava; Sean Heaney (Luka Lovic 72), Hugh Douglas, Killian Cantwell, Dylan Barnett, Richie Purdy (Brandon McCann 83), Dean O’Halloran, Paul Keegan, Luke Nolan, Dylan McGlade, Derek Daly.
Subs not used: Adam Hayden (gk), Darragh Gibbons, Andrew McGovern, Conor Behan, Anthony Purdy.
Booked: Luke Nolan (53), Paul Keegan (65), Hugh Douglas (70).
Referee: Jason Mannix.