Youths slip up against leaders
LEAGUE LEADERS extended their unbeaten run to eight games when they comfortably saw off Wexford Youths in this Division 1 game played at Ferrycarrig Park on Friday last.
Any slim hopes the Youths had of getting back into a top three placing disappeared following this result unless third-placed Galway United slip up in their remaining games. While the Youths have a game in hand, also against Longford, it's difficult on this display to see them gaining three points from this away fixture.
Having promised so much, the Youths' slippage after moving into second position began in the series of games in the lead up to the break. While they took all three points from Cobh Ramblers on their return, it was not impressive enough to suggest they had put their poor spell behind them.
This was clearly borne out in this game, as leaders Longford dominated for the entire 90 minutes, with the visitors left wondering why they hadn't more than two goals to spare at the end.
There was no clearcut chance created through the opening 20 minutes, with neither 'keeper having a shot to save. However, after 24 minutes, the visitors took the lead somewhat against the run of play when a David O'Sullivan cross was headed into his own net by centre-back Ryan Delaney. Four minutes later Gary Shaw forced home 'keeper Graham Doyle into a fine save.
On the half-hour mark Longford came close to increasing their lead when a David O'Sullivan header from a Willie Tyrell cross was deflected onto the post by the diving Doyle, with the ball eventually being cleared to safety. After 42 minutes O'Sullivan set up Gary Shaw who finished with a low shot to make it 2-0 which was how it remained to the interval.
With Wexford Youths unable to reap a goal from early second-half pressure, the visitors came close to increasing their lead, but 'keeper Doyle denied Cowan's close-range header after 61 minutes.
The home side's first real attempt on goal came in the 85th minute when Broaders brought a fine save out of 'keeper Hunt. This was the home side's only direct shot on goal through the 90 minutes as they were totally outplayed in midfield.
Wexford Youths are away to neighbours Waterford United this Friday evening.
New Ross Standard