Gerard Grimes reports from United Park
Sam Verdon again proved the difference between Longford Town and Drogheda United as his first half strike handed Daire Doyle’s side all three points at United Park on Friday.
Longford were the better side in the first half, winning a number of early frees but their first chance came on ten minutes as Dylan Grimes fired well over the bar from range.
A well worked move four minutes later saw Grimes find Evans, who shifted the ball onto this left foot and the shot deflected into the side netting by the boot of James Brown.
The following corner created another chance for Longford. The ball was played low to Aodh Dervin on the edge of the box and he fired low through a crowded box but Odumosu claimed at the second attempt.
Longford took a deserved lead after 21 minutes when two Drogheda defenders slipped, allowing Shane Elworthy to be played in free on the right.
His low cut back wasn’t gathered by Odumosu, who could only palm the ball into the path of Sam Verdon who tapped in from four yards.
Drogheda’s best move of the game up until this point resulted in a disallowed goal five minutes later. Brown raced down the right wing and crossed towards Wixted who flicked on for Lyons but the forward controlled with his hand before finishing into the far corner.
A mistake by Brown ten minutes later gifted the ball to Manley. He found Verdon but the forward rushed the shot, and this time failed to hit the target.
Drogheda’s best spell of the half came in the last five minutes as Longford keeper Lee Steacy was forced into making a number of very good saves.
First, Hyland delivered a free from the halfway line towards Tuite at the backpost but Steacy made the save to his right, holding on to the ball well.
Next, Luke Heeney cut in onto his right foot on the wing and looked to find the far top corner from distance but again Steacy was equal to the effort, palming it over his bar.
The home side started the second half the better of the two sides with Doyle, Lyons and Kane linking up for the latter to cross to O’Farrell who couldn’t keep his header on target.
The Boynesiders went close on 54 minutes as Lyons scooped a ball over the top of the Longford defence, finding Doyle but under pressure from the backtracking Gorman, his effort was again saved by Steacy.
The next twenty minutes saw a lack of chances until Lyons headed off target as he connected with a Mark Doyle cross.
Drogheda were then reduced to ten men as substitute Brandon Bermingham was shown a second yellow card in twelve minutes and dismissed.
The home side had two massive chances to grab the equaliser after being reduced to ten, the first as a cut back from the left found the unmarked Brennan but a combination of Steacy and Dylan Hand cleared on the line for Longford.
The last kick of the game almost saw the equaliser arrive as Hyland beat his man and cut it back, finding Lyons but again man-of-the-match Lee Steacy stood strong and made the save to secure the three points for Longford.
Drogheda United: David Odumosu; James Brown, Jack Tuite, Derek Prendergast, Conor Kane; Luke Heeney (Sean Brennan 70), Jake Hyland, Richie O'Farrell; Adam Wixted (Brandon Bermingham 60), Mark Doyle, Chris Lyons.
Subs not used: Ross Treacy (GK), Hugh Douglas, Stephen Meaney, Ryan O'Shea, James Clarke.
Booked: Brandon Bermingham (63), Brandon Bermingham (75).
Sent off: Brandon Bermingham (75).
Longford Town: Lee Steacy; Shane Elworthy, Michael McDonnell, Joe Gorman, Dylan Hand; Dylan Grimes, Aodh Dervin, Dean Zambra (C), Adam Evans (Jack Doherty 55); Sam Verdon (James English 68), Rob Manley (Karl Chambers 89).
Subs not used: Luke Dennison (GK), Joseph Manley, Aaron McNally, Niall Barnes.
Booked: Rob Manley (31), Joe Gorman (44), Adam Evans (52), Michael McDonnell (65), Jack Doherty (79), Shane Elworthy (85).
Sent off: None.
Referee: Alan Patchell.
Attendance: 850 (est).
ExtraTime.ie Player of the Match: Lee Steacy (Longford Town).