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Another point on the road

Longford Town   0   Kildare County   0

A draw away to Longford would normally be an acceptable outcome but those County fans who made the trip to Flancare Park will know that this was not a point gained but two left behind. With the sides injury problems abating the side is beginning to take on a solid look and the clean sheet must also have pleased the manager.

A solid defence rarely looked in any great difficulty and the side showed plenty of creativity in midfield and the strength of Philly Gorman and pace of Ciaran Kilduff up front will cause problems for any defence.

County played into a strong bitterly cold breeze in the first half, which opened with Longfords Gary Murphy volleying wide after an Iarflaith Davoren knockdown. County’s first chance fell to Philly Gorman, who curled his shot just over after Stephen Brennan’s clearance fell to him outside the box.

Kilduff put Gorman through on the half hour but the striker was denied by a superb tackle by Brennan.

Gorman sent Kilduff through three minutes later but Longford keeper Shay Kelly saved his left footed shot comfortably. The Thoroughbreds continued to press and when Daire Doyle’s corner was cleared by Barry Slattery. Ciaran Kilduff picked the ball up just inside his own half and played a beautiful ball over the Longford defence for the onrushing Cathal Brady. Damien Rushe dragged down the midfielder inside the box and referee Tom Connolly pointed to the spot.

Rushe can count himself very fortunate to escape with just a yellow card. Kilduff struck the penalty low to keeper Shay Kelly’s left but the keeper got down well to push the ball around the post.

County again came close to opening their account on the stroke of half time when Kilduff directed his free header wide from a Colin Fortune corner.

Kildare had the ball in the net six minutes after the break when Fortune played a delightful ball into the path of Ciaran Kilduff. The striker however was adjudged to be offside. The home side’s first real chance came in the 53 rd minute but Gary Murphy’s shot from outside the box was well held by keeper Charlie Treacy.

Another flowing County move almost resulted in a score three minutes later. Alan Clarke sent the ball up the right wing to Brady, who flicked on to Kilduff. Gorman’s near post header from Kilduff’s cross was inches wide.

Just past the hour mark County were fortunate when Gary Murphy’s cross eluded Charlie Treacy but was cleared from under the bar by Alan Clarke.  Cathal Brady then cut in from the right wing, taking advantage of the space opened up by Barry Slattery’s decoy run. Brady’s low shot from the edge of the box was somehow turned around the post by keeper Kelly.

Charlie Treacy then made a timely intervention when he got his fingertips to a cross from Doyle and diverted the ball away from the inrushing Iarflaith Davoren. Treacy again showed great reaction when he tipped Doyle’s shot from eight yards over after Ronan Frawley had headed down Alan Lynch’s corner.

County’s last chance to take all three points came with eight minutes remaining. Ciaran Kilduff showed great pace to escape from Lukey Hardy and get on the end of John Broderick’s through ball. Kilduff rounded the keeper but his shot came back off the bottom of the post.

Longford Town: Kelly, Hardy, Casey, Brennan, Frawley, Murphy (Kelch 85), Rushe, Doyle, Davoren, McKenna (Barrett 6 ), Lynch.

Kildare County: Treacy, Clarke, Clancy, Brophy, Donnelly, Brady, Fortune, Slattery (Broderick 77), Harte, Kilduff (Robinson 89), Gorman.          

Referee: Tom Connolly (Dublin)

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