Andrew Dempsey reports from City Calling Stadium
Longford Town got back to winning ways in the First Division thanks to a dominant second half performance which produced four goals.
A Dean Byrne brace, along with a goal from Sean Boyd and defender Joe Manley eventually saw off a stubborn Galway United who battled gamely up until the hour mark.
It was a quick start from Neale Fenn’s side who dominated throughout much of the early stages of the game, going close with Boyd after just ten minutes.
The tricky Dylan Grimes jinked his way around the Galway defence before finding the Shamrock Rovers loanee who fired low at Kevin Horgan.
Town continued to press as Boyd’s volley from distance went over the bar after the ball teed up perfectly for the lively striker moments after his good early opening.
Perhaps the move of the opening twenty minutes saw Michael McDonnell head over the bar after being found by full-back Shane Elworthy on the right with Aodh Dervin’s outside of the boot pass finding the 21 year old.
Horgan was forced into action again halfway through the first half when Boyd was unable to squeeze his effort home at the near post after some good Red and Black interplay inside the penalty area.
However, despite much of their dominance, Longford almost found themselves behind on the half-hour mark as Conor Layng forced a superb save one-on-one with Lee Steacy – with the ex-Shelbourne shot-stopper saving well with his feet.
The Tribesmen grew into the game from that point on but rarely threatened as the hosts early influence waned ever so slightly.
Despite that, De Town will have felt slightly frustrated to have gone in at the break level as Sam Verdon was unable to get a shot away after a wonderful deft touch from Dean Byrne on the edge of the penalty area.
For his troubles, Verdon was adjudged to have fouled Horgan when he ploughed through on goal, receiving a rather harsh booking from referee Paula Brady.
The second half began rather tamely with neither side especially dominating the play. Boyd almost sent Town clear, but he saw his effort hit off the side-netting.
However, Town were not to be denied as Byrne scored a well-taken opener after taking control of a well-placed Anto Breslin cross to toe-poke home into the back of the net.
Fenn’s promotion hunters added a second just minutes later as Boyd finally scored from close range after an industrious performance from the 21-year-old.
Sub Aaron Dobbs fed in the Hoops loan star who passed home as Town breathed a huge sigh of relief to secure all three points with just over a quarter of an hour to play.
Byrne then added the gloss to the performance late on with his second and Longford’s third as the Red and Black soared back into third spot after a superb run from deep through the aforementioned Dobbs, only behind Drogheda United on goal difference.
However, there was still time for a fourth as Galway well and truly capitulated late on with Joe Manley popping up at the back post to score his first Longford Town goal in injury time to put the icing on the cake with seconds remaining.
The result sees Longford Town go level on points with Drogheda in second, only behind the Boynesiders on goal difference.
Longford Town: Lee Steacy; Anto Breslin, Shane Elworthy, Conor Kenna, Joseph Manley, Michael McDonnell; Aodh Dervin, Dylan Grimes (Aaron Dobbs, 69), Sam Verdon (Dean Zambra, 84); Sean Boyd (Peter Hopkins, 84), Dean Byrne.
Subs not used: Karl Chambers, Jack Menton, Paul O'Conor, Carlton Ubaezuonu.
Booked: Sam Verdon (42).
Galway United: Kevin Horgan; Iarfhlaith Davoren, Christopher Horgan (Conor Melody, 76), Killian Brouder, Marc Ludden (Dara Costelloe, 83), Maurice Nugent, Stephen Walsh; Donal Higgins, Colin Kelly (Conor Barry 61); Vinny Faherty, Conor Layng.
Subs not used: Cian Mulryan, Joe Collins, Cian Murphy, Adam Rooney.
Booked: Mark Ludden (31).
Referee: Paula Brady.
ExtraTime.ie Player of the Match: Dean Byrne (Longford Town).