Failure to get penalty points drives Cousins to distraction
Longford Town 0 Shamrock Rovers 2
Insult was added to injury as Tony Cousins' Longford were left cursing their luck at a rain-sodden City Calling Stadium.
The cruelty of an own goal and a goalkeeping slip gave Shamrock Rovers a fortuitous win and Longford being denied the result they deserved to lift themselves off the foot of the table.
Cousins lost goalkeeper Paul Skinner with a hamstring injury in a first half that left him hopping mad at his side not being awarded what looked a clearcut penalty.
Longford started well, with Kaleem Simon missing a sitter before being hauled down in the box when through on goal by Dave Webster on 24 minutes.
Despite loud shouts for a spot-kick, Dublin referee Ben Connolly inexplicably waved play on.
It got no better for Longford as Jamie Mulhall turned Dean Clarke's cross into his own net to give Rovers a 61st-minute lead.
A slip by substitute goalkeeper Ian Molloy, 19, on his league debut, then gifted Danny North Rovers' second goal on 78 minutes.
"It was hard to take," said Cousins. "I can't say what I really want to say about the penalty incident because I'll only get myself into trouble. I'll let the ('Soccer Republic') lads put their view on it.
"What I do know is that the referee had a clear view because I was right behind him.
"I've seen it on TV and it's mind-boggling really. It's a definite penalty.
"We started the game really well. If they go down to ten men and we score the penalty, it changes the match.
"I felt after the Derry game and then Galway last week that it was starting to come for us.
"But it seems at the moment - Noel Haverty broke his arm last week - that we're putting one fire out and another one is starting."
Longford Town - Skinner (Molloy 37); Mulhall, Flynn, Noack-Hofmann, Powell; Simon, Dillon (O'Connor 74), Gannon, McGlynn (Cowan 50); O'Sullivan, O'Hanlon.
Shamrock Rovers - Hyland; Madden, Cornwall, Webster, G Brennan; McPhail, K Brennan; Miele (Cregg 79), McCabe, D Clarke (T Clarke 86); Shaw (North 64).
Ref - B Connolly (Dublin)