UCD And Longford Town Playout Scoreless Draw

Longford Town maintained their unbeaten start to the season with a goalless draw away to UCD at the College Bowl, a result that gives them seven points from their opening three matches.

UCD were the vastly superior team in the opening 35 minutes as they knocked the ball around beautifully and posed numerous problems for the Longford defence, especially down the right hand side with striker Liam Kerrigan in scintillating form.

The UCD wing-backs Michael Gallagher and Mark Dignam combined brilliantly to create a glorious chance for striker Colm Whelan on 17 minutes.

Gallagher’s superb right-wing cross was headed across the box by Dignam to striker Colm Whelan, but he blasted narrowly over from 15-yards.

College midfielder Jack Keaney wasn’t too far off target with a 35-yard free kick on 29 minutes, although Town keeper Lee Steacy seemed to have it covered.

The best chance of the first half fell to the visitors three minutes before the break, Sam Verdon disposed College midfielder Jack Keaney just outside his own 18-yard box.

Verdon threaded the ball through to James English who ran to the end-line and whipped in a low cross that was prodded goal ward by the stretching Rob Manley, but UCD keeper Lorcan Healy saved with his feet.

The rebound came back to Verdon but he fired over the rebound from just 12-yards.

The half-time introduction of substitute Dylan Grimes rejuvenated Longford and they were much improved in the second half.

UCD almost broke the deadlock four minutes after the resumption. A long ball out of defence was flicked on by Dara Keane to striker Kerigan, but his low shot from the left was saved by Town stopper Steacy.

Just two minutes later, a much livelier Town almost took the lead as substitute Dylan Grimes free kick was headed inches wide by Manley.

Longford Town continued their second half dominance and came close again on the 57th minute. A quickly taken free kick picked out Grimes and his brilliant perfectly weighted diagonal ball found Dylan Hand just inside the UCD box, but his shot-across goal flashed just wide of the far post.

UCD created a good chance in the 64th minute when Keane picked out Kerrigan 16-yards out, but his crisp shot with the outside of his right boot produced a fine save from Steacy.

Manley then had a shot from a tight angle on the right saved by UCD keeper Healy after a good run into the UCD box. Both sides created pressure in the closing stages but both defences held firm.

UCD: (3-3-2-2) Healy, Farrell, Collins, Osam, Gallagher, Dignam, Keane (Mahdy 66), Keaney, Doyle, Whelan, Kerrigan.

Longford Town: (4-2-1-2-1) Steacy, Elworthy, McDonnell, Hand, McNally, Zambra, Dervin, Verdon, English (Barnes 78), Lotifa (Grimes HT), Manley (Warfield 82)

Referee: Alan Patchell