Missed chances proved costly as Longford Town lost one-nil at home to UCD at the City Calling Stadium last night, a result that effectively ends any lingering promotion hopes for the Town unless they win away to leaders Waterford at the RSC next Friday night.
Report by Tony Ghee
UCD almost took the lead in the sixth minute when Kelly’s powerful header from McClelland’s corner produced a stunning save from Town keeper Skinner.
Longford created the next opportunity five minutes later when Cowan ran onto Kevin O’Connor’s superb lofted ball and outpaced his marker but his effort from a narrow angle was just about clawed to safety by UCD keeper Corbert.
The Town who had lost influential centre-half Walsh to a head injury on eight minutes suffered another huge blow in the thirteenth minute when they went behind as McClelland’s defence-splitting pass put in Daire O’Connor and he coolly slotted home under the body of advancing Town keeper Skinner.
Longford almost responded two minutes later but Boyne’s shot deflected off a UCD defender and went narrowly over the bar.
After a quiet fifteen minutes,the game came alive again in the twenty-sixth minute when another superb pass from Longford midfielder Kevin O’Connor created a chance for striker Curran but his shot was well saved by Corbert. Three minutes later, the Town came close again as O’Reilly headed Kevin O’Connor’s corner just wide.
Approaching half-time, the home side almost fashioned an equaliser when good play by Hofman teed-up substitute Kelly on the edge of the UCD box only for his low diagonal shot to whistle just past the far post with UCD stopper Corbert well beaten.
Three minutes into the second-half UCD almost doubled their lead when McClelland cut-in from the left and let fly with a shot that whizzed just past the far post.
After failing to create any decent chances in the first thirty-eight minutes of the second-half, the Town finished with a flourish and had several late opportunities to earn a draw.
In the eighty-fourth minute McGlade headed a Kelly cross well over the UCD bar and then had three excellent chances in stoppage time
The Town almost snatched a late equaliser in injury time when a Noack-Hofman thirty-five yard thunderbolt came back off the crossbar with Corbert well beaten and the ball rebounded off Jake Kelly into Corbert’s welcoming arms.
The Town had another glorious chance to snatch a late draw when McGlade’s brilliant run and cut-back resulted in Kelly’s shot being saved by Corbert, and then O’Reilly had a header saved by Corbert before referee Marc Lynch blew the full-time whistle.
Longford Town manager Alan Mathews spoke with Tony Ghee after the game
Longford Town (4-4-2) :Skinner, Langtry, O’Reilly, Walsh, Noack-Hofmann, Cowan, O’Connor, Zambra, Chambers, Boyne, Curran.
Substitutes: Gorman for Walsh (8 minutes), Kelly for Cowan (41 minutes), McGlade for Chambers (72 minutes).
UCD (3-4-3): Corbett, Collins, Kouogun, Scales, Osam, Tobin, Sloggett, Gary O’Neill, McClelland, O’Connor, Kelly.
Substitute: Manley for Kelly (85 minutes).