By Deniese O’Flaherty from Bishopsgate.
Longford Town had to come from behind to record victory over fellow promotion chasers UCD at Bishopsgate on Monday night.
The Students had taken the lead in first half stoppage time but Town produced a strong second half display to claim all three points with goals from Shane Elworthy, Sam Verdon and Rob Manley. It was a perfect response from Town after their disappointing defeat away to leaders Bray Wanderers on Friday night.
Town move up to third spot in the table courtesy of this win while the Students drop to fifth; they are just ahead of Galway Utd on goal difference. Town had most of the possession in the first half but didn’t create too many clear cut chances. In the third minute defender Mick McDonnell directed his header wide while in the 12th minute Rob Manley raced through but Lorcan Healy stretched out his foot to deflect the ball out for a corner.
The visitors didn’t get too many opportunities on the ball to muster up chances. In the 33rd minute Yoyo Madhy headed his effort wide. Down the other end Dean Byrne should’ve done better with his shot which he blasted over. Nearing the end of the half the visitors began to get back into the game and broke the deadlock in stoppage time when Jack Keaney played a through ball to Evan Weir and his shot from a tight angle hit the roof of the net.
Town had two claims for a penalty turned down in the second half. The first came in the 51st minute when Sam Verdon was hauled down in the box.
Three minutes later and Town were back on level terms when Adam Evans’ cross was finished to the net by Shane Elworthy who got in between two UCD players. Sam Verdon had a header deflected out for a corner on 59 minutes and in the 72nd minute UCD defender Michael Gallagher handled the ball in the box but referee Derek Tomney waved away Town’s penalty claims.
It was all Town at this stage and in the 75th minute they took the lead when Sam Verdon headed home from close range. UCD didn’t create anything to test Lee Steacy in the second half and Rob Manley sealed the win for the home side in the 86th minute; Mick McDonnell headed the ball down for Manley and he stretched his leg out to put the ball past Lorcan Healy.
Longford Town: Lee Steacy; Shane Elworthy, Mick McDonnell, Dylan Hand, Joe Manley; Adoh Dervin, Dean Zambra; Sam Verdon (Karl Chambers 82), Dean Byrne (Aaron McCabe 69), Adam Evans; Rob Manley.
Subs not used: Luke Dennison, Matthew O’Brien, Karl Chambers, Aaron McNally, Callum Warfield, Joe Gorman.
Booked: Sam Verdon (45), Aaron McCabe (90+2)
UCD: Lorcan Healy; Michael Gallagher, Harry McEvoy, Josh Collins, Luke Boore; Liam Kerrigan (Michael O’Keane 69), Mark Dignam, Jack Keaney, Evan Weir; Yoyo Mahdy, Colm Whelan (Paul Doyle 62).
Subs not used: Matthew Treanor, Eoin Farrell, Evan Farrell, Dan Kinsella Bishop, Issac Akinsete.
Referee: Derek Tomney (Dublin)