Friday 31st August 2007, 10:03 pm
31st August 2007
Shamrock Rovers 0
Longford Town 1
David Mooney 90 +2
Referee : Pat Whelan
David Mooney struck two minutes into injury time to give Longford Town a dramatic 1-0 win over Shamrock Rovers at Tolka Park tonight.
In a sometimes ill-tempered game, both sides collected bookings and knocks with no-one holding back.
Going into the game both managers (Pat Scully and Alan Matthews) had praise heaped on them for the performances they had gotten from their respective teams in differing circumstances.
Rovers had the chance to cut Drogheda's lead in the title race but Longford came out on top to move within one point of second from bottom Waterford and make Scully eat some of what he had said about Longford in the build-up to the game.
Colm James was a late addition to Longford's starting line-up after an injury to David Freeman in the warm-up. The former Bray and Galway player was immense for Longford and his tussles with Alan Reynolds weren't for the weak of heart.
Dessie Baker had an early chance for the visitors but Robbie Clarke headed away. Ger O'Brien was remarkably assured when he chested the ball back to keeper Barry Murphy but the keeper's full length dive suggested the defender was lucky to get away with it.
Longford continued their good start with Mark Rutherford just about crowded out at the back post.
Barry Ferguson and Reynolds found themselves booked after typically rash attempts at challenges before twenty minutes had elapsed.
A Baker free kick drifted just wide at the back post with Mooney and James chasing in and both narrowly failed to connect. Baker would do the same again before the break.
Andy Myler might well have added to his tally as a Rovers chance presented itself midway through the half. However, David Cassidy got in his way and should have laid off to the striker on the edge of the box.
Mooney flashed a shot off target in the dying moments of the half before having a goal ruled out for offside almost on the stroke of half-time.
Rovers definitely set the pace after the break but it took them a while to make any inroads against the well drilled Longford defence.
Myler brought a great save from Shay Kelly in the closing twenty minutes but having headed the rebound over, Myler was forced off injured after an apparent collision with Sean Prunty.
Kelly pulled off the save of the game on 81 minutes to push Cassidy's drilled near-post shot around the post.
Ger Rowe had been brought off the bench by Rovers and being his usual lively self attempted to lob the advanced Kelly. However, he missed the target as a frustrating night continued for Rovers.
Damien Brennan snuck in at the back post to connect with a deep 89th minute free kick from the right but just as Longford began to celebrate, Hilda McDermott's flag brought them crashing back down to earth. The decision though was far from clear-cut and would surely have been the talking point had Mooney not netted even later.
Stung by losing what they thought was a good goal, Longford continued to chase and it paid off in the 92nd minute. Danny O'Connor's poor attempted clearance came back after Robbie Martin's pressure. Mooney outpaced Ferguson to the ball and coolly slotted past Barry Murphy to give the most dramatic of victories.
Shamrock Rovers : Murphy, G O'Brien, Clarke, Ferguson, Danny O'Connor, Reynolds (Shiels 58), Martin (Rowe 58), E McGill, Cassidy, Purcell, Myler (Doyle 76).
Longford Town : Kelly, Sullivan, Prunty, Brennan, Doherty, James, Deegan, Reilly (Martin 58), Rutherford, Baker, Mooney.