Thursday 26 April 2018

Simon not giving up hope yet

Longford Town 1 Galway United 1

Longford Town's Kaleem Simon is determined that his team won't give up in their relegation battle. Photo: Ramsey Cardy / Sportsfile
Longford Town's Kaleem Simon is determined that his team won't give up in their relegation battle. Photo: Ramsey Cardy / Sportsfile newsdesk

Kaleem Simon is determined that Longford Town will not give up in their battle to stave off relegation.

Simon and Galway's Paul Sinnott swapped first league goals of the season as bottom side Longford were left still searching for a first home win of the campaign after Saturday night's stalemate at the City Calling Stadium.

Still without a victory since the opening night of the season at Wexford Youths, Longford are now five points adrift at the foot of the Premier Division table.

Tony Cousins' midlanders have also played a game more and are burdened by a significantly inferior goal difference.

Having been the better side in the first half, Longford finally took the lead eight minutes into the second with a wonderful goal.

Noel Haverty worked a one-two with Peter McGlynn on the right to deliver a precise cross for Simon to score with a sublime first-time volley.

Galway responded to level on 67 minutes. Skipper Ryan Connolly pulled a free kick back for Sinnott to drill to the net through a crowded penalty area.

Both goalkeepers then excelled to prevent any further scoring.

Longford's Ryan Coulter made terrific stops to twice deny Vinny Faherty while Conor Winn saved with his feet from Yann Mvita.

Longford might have won it with the last kick of the game in stoppage time, but substitute Lee Duffy's shot was palmed away by Winn.

"It was a great ball in by Havo and I was just lucky to be on the end of it," said 20-year-old winger Simon of his goal.

"We looked like we were going to score again. Their goal was just a lack of concentration from a set-piece.

"It's all well and good scoring goals, but you have to keep clean sheets.

"There is still hope. You can never give up. We have to keep playing game-by-game and hopefully get results.

"It felt like a loss on Saturday, but at least we picked up one point."

Galway manager Tommy Dunne was relatively pleased with a draw.

"They looked the hungrier team," said Dunne. "They wanted it more. In saying that, we tried to play. But in fairness to them, they worked their socks off and stopped us from playing.

"We just didn't have that fluency about us and we'd too many who probably weren't at their best.

"When you're like that, then maybe a point isn't a bad result. We're going into a difficult phase of matches now coming up. We've got Dundalk at home, Pat's away, while our back matches are Rovers at home and Cork away."

Longford Town - Coulter; Haverty, Mvita, Gorman, Powell; McGlynn (Duffy, 78), Dillon (Gannon, 34), Hughes, Simon; Cowan, Dsane (O'Sullivan, 86).

Galway United - Winn; Horgan, Aganovic, Folan (Cantwell, 90+2), Walsh; Sinnott, Connolly; Shanahan (Ludden, 54), Melody (Curran, 59), Devaney; Faherty.

Referee - Paul McLaughlin (Donegal).

Irish Independent

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