Longford Town let slip a two goal cushion in a game they mainly dominated as they had to settle for a share of the spoils with a two-all draw at home to Cobh Ramblers in their first outing of the 2018 First Division season.
Longford took the lead after just five minutes with a superb goal. Micheal McDonnell exchanged passes with Daniel O’Reilly and then played a perfectly weighted pass to striker Chris Mulhall who rifled a low diagonal shot to the bottom left corner of the Cobh net.
Cobh almost equalised on nine minutes but Michael Kelly saved well from Cian Leonard’s shot on the turn from the left inside the Town box.
The Town almost went two goals up on 34 minutes when they won three successive corners and from the second one, O’Connor’s delivery picked out McDonnell ten yards out from goal, only for McDonnell’s shot to be cleared off by Adam O’Sullivan.
The Town landed a second goal two minutes before the interval when Dean Zambra gained possession on the half way line and surged forward before laying the ball off to Meenan on the left.
Meenan cut inside and pulled a ball back to Zambra whose initial shot was blocked, however, Zambra pounced to slot home the rebound.
The home side nearly scored a third goal on 63 minutes when Mulhall superbly held the ball up before spinning and threading the ball through to Sam Verdon.
Verdon one-on-one with Cobh keeper Hunt but could only shoot straight at the Cobh stopper.
Two minutes later, Cobh were back in the contest as substitute Andrew Wall powerfully headed home from Murphy’s left-wing corner.
Suddenly, from being two up and in total control of the game, the Town were on the backfoot as the visitors confidence soared and they began to cause the ‘Red & Black’problems.
A revitalised Cobh capitalised on a defensive error by McDonnell to secure an unlikely draw.
McDonnell’s stray pass was intercepted by Hurley and he passed to striker Leonard who fired a superb low twenty-two yard strike beyond the flailing Town keeper Kelly into the bottom corner of the net.
Longford almost snatched a late injury time winner but Verdon’s deflected long range strike went just inches wide.
Longford Town: Michael Kelly, Shane Elworthy, Michael McDonnell, Daniel O’Reilly, Alan Kehoe, Sam Verdon, Shane O’Connor, Dean Zambra, Peter Hopkins, Chris Mulhall, Darren Meenan (Evan Galvin 87).
Cobh Ramblers: Paul Hunt, Chris Fleming, Ben O’Riordan, James McSweeney, Adam O’Sullivan (Denzil Fernandes 57), Darren Murphy, Jack Lynch (Andrew Wall 56), Anthony McAlavey, Ian Mylod, Cian Leonard, David Hurley.
Report by Tony Ghee
Longford Town manager Neale Fenn spoke with Tony Ghee after the game