Longford Town suffer defeat to Finn Harps in First Division opener

Feb 17, 2024 21:36 By Michael Cooke
Longford Town suffer defeat to Finn Harps in First Division opener
Longford Town Match Report
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Town led 2-0 after just 13 minutes but were outplayed thereafter.

Mark Mbuli’s late goal saw Longford Town suffer a 3-2 defeat to Finn Harps in their SSE Airtricity League first division opener at Bishopsgate.

Having led 2-0 after just 13 minutes, Town were virtually anonymous thereafter. Harps capitalised and claimed a deserved victory in front of 1,607 people.

Town made a blistering start. Indeed, new signing Chris Lyons gave the hosts the lead six minutes in.


Adam Wixted’s right-wing cross was parried by Harps goalkeeper Tim-Oliver Hiemer. Lyons pounced and headed home the rebound.

Lyons doubled Town’s advantage seven minutes later. The former Bray Wanderers man collected Matthew Makinson’s miscued clearance and fired home from 20 yards out.

Harps were finding Longford hard to break down but carved an opportunity on 21 minutes. Success Edogun missed the target from the edge of the box.


Harps’ new signing atoned for his missed effort eight minutes later as the visitors pulled one back.

Shane Elworthy and Jamie Egan were both tracking the Harps striker but Edogun skilfully outmanoeuvred both players before firing home inside the box.

Edogun tried his luck again on the stroke of half-time. The former Treaty United striker shot straight at Jack Brady from 25 yards out, Town held on to lead 2-1 at the break.


The opening stages of the second half were devoid of goalmouth action but Harps almost equalised on the hour mark.

Indeed, Tony McNamee’s teasing free-kick was deflected into the path of Stephen Doherty. The Harps midfielder forced a superb one-handed save from Brady.

Finn Harps surge in Second-Half


Harps threatened again on 62 minutes. Patrick Ferry collected McNamee’s long throw, his subsequent shot was blocked by Dean O’Shea.

Harps’ pressure paid dividends on 67 minutes. Jamie Watson rifled a powerful 25-yard shot to the net and suddenly the sides were level.

Whereas, Town came close seven minutes later. Chris Lotefa deflected Luke Wade Slater’s throw towards Jamie Egan, the Town defender headed straight at Hiemer.


Indeed, Town almost capitalised on sloppy play from the visitors on 83 minutes. Hiemer came 30 yards outside his own goal, cleared a loose ball to Samuel Clarke but the Town substitute missed the target completely.

Harps snatched victory in the final minute of normal time. Chris Lotefa and Edogun combined to set up Mark Mbuli who headed in at the far post.

Edogun appeared to be offside in the build-up but the goal stood as Town suffered a disappointing defeat.

Longford Town: Jack Brady, Shane Elworthy, Jamie Egan, Dean O’Shea Kyle O’Connor, Adam Wixted, Victor Serdeniuk, Bastien Hery (Karl Chambers 84), Luke Wade Slater (Mohammed Boudiaf 77), Chris Lyons, Dean George (Samuel Clarke 77)

Finn Harps: Tim Hiemer, Jamie Watson, Matthew Makinson Noe Baba, Shane McMonagle; David Cawley, Stephen Doherty (Chris Lotefa 70); Patrick Ferry (Max Hutchinson 70), Tony McNamee, Success Edogun, Aaron McLaughlin (Mark Mbuli 21).

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