First Division Round-up: Top three all win as Longford stay four points behind leaders Shelbourne

Sun, Jun 30 2019

Sam Verdon celebrates Longford Town's winner against Cobh Ramblers. Credit: Damien Darcy (ETPhotos)

Longford Town returned to second place in the First Division courtesy of a hard-fought 1-0 win over Cobh Ramblers at City Calling Stadium on Saturday night.

Sam Verdon scored the only goal of the game just after the half-hour mark as the midlands side overtook Drogheda United once more to move four points behind league leaders Shelbourne.

The Rams, under Stuart Ashton’s charge for the first time following Stephen Henderson’s resignation last week, had chance of their own but couldn’t fashion an equaliser.

The home side started strongly with Verdon lobbing a shot just wide of the post and Aaron Dobbs glancing a header wide in the opening minutes.

Town keeper Lee Steacy produced a double save to deny Jaze Kabia after he was played through by Cian Leonard, leaping up from the first to deny Leonard on the rebound.

The winning goal came shortly afterwards as Verdon and Dobbs played a one-two and the former St Patrick’s Athletic man fired a shot home from just inside the area.

Verdon could have clinched it late on with an ambitious effort from his own half but, with goalkeeper Paul Hunt beaten, the shot drifted just wide.

On Friday night, Drogheda United briefly took second spot courtesy of a last-gap 1-0 win over Bray Wanderers at United Park.

Luke McNally was the hero as he rose highest to head Sean Brennan’s cross over the head of former Drogs keeper Gabriel Sava in the 90th minute to seal all three points.

Read Gerard Grimes’ match report from United Park here.

Shelbourne maintained their lead at the top of the table with a nip-and-tuck 1-0 win over Limerick at the Market’s Field.

The Blues looked set to take a shock lead in the 20th minute when Red Hanlon was hauled down in the box but Darren Murphy chipped a poor penalty over the bar.

And they paid dearly eight minutes before the break when Ciaran Kilduff dispossessed keeper Jack Brady on the endline and clipped the ball into the empty net.

Cabinteely ended their five-match winless streak with a well-deserved 2-0 win over Wexford at Stradbrook Park.

Luke Clucas and Yuta Sasaki, on as a sub for his debut, scored the goals while Sean Callan was shown a straight red 20 minutes from time for the visitors.

The sides were scoreless at the break but Clucas wasted no time in putting his side in front after the break rasping shot from just outside the area.

Callan was given his marching orders for a poor challenge on Keith Dalton and Japanese winger Sasaki, a new recruit from Cherry Orchard, sealed the win with a tidy finish late on.

Read Andrew Dempsey’s match report from Stradbrook Park here.

And Galway United remain a point ahead of Athlone Town in eighth place after the two sides played out a 1-1 draw at Eamonn Deacy Park.

Wilson Waweru had given the Tribesmen the lead in the first half but Dean Williams levelled from the spot midway through the second half to ensure the spoils were shared.

Waweru made the breakthrough on the half-hour mark, the teenager netting his second goal of the season with a stunning long-range strike after being put in space by Dara Costelloe.

On-loan Shamrock Rovers striker Williams netted his eighth goal of the season, however, to salvage a draw after Cian Murphy had committed a foul in the area.

Read Paul Corcoran’s match report from Deacy Park here.