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County fall to single goal

Kildare County 0 Longford Town 1

It would be easy to point the figure of blame at County’s defence for this home loss to a Longford side that because of a goalkeeping crises through the suspension of first choice Neil Gallagher and injuries to their back-up, had to resort to appointing full back Alan O’Riordan to the role of netminder.

However a litany of missed chances, particularly in the second half, was more to blame for denying the Thoroughbreds a chance to move up the table.

County had the better of the early possession but their final ball let them down on a number of occasions before in their first dangerous attack some shocking defending allowed former Kildare County striker Darren McKenna to score his third against his former club since his departure two seasons ago (two for Shels last season).

Iarflaith Davoren crossed into the box and with keeper Charlie Treacy and central defender John Brophy getting their calls mixed up the Celbridge man ghosted in at the back post to scramble the ball across the line.

McKenna then had the ball in the net again nine minutes later but this time his volley from a Davoren cross was ruled out for offside.

County were a much improved side in the second half after John Ryan replaced keeper Charlie Treacy, who suffered a shoulder injury late in the first half, with Austin O’Neill and Willie Tyrell was introduced for Brophy in the middle of defence.

Despite winning a succession of second half corners Town’s stand-in keeper Alan O’Riordan was not unduly troubled as centre backs Ronan Frawley and Doyle were equal to the best efforts of the hard working Philly Gorman and Ciaran Kilduff.

Ger Robinson was introduced up front at the expense of defender Michael Roche as John Ryan went all out for an equaliser.

The big Dunboyne man however has yet to recapture the form which saw him hit the net nine times in as many games at the end of last season and luck also eludes Philly Gorman, who was the division’s third top scorer in the previous campaign.

Midfielder Colin Fortune seemed to pose the only real threat for County and just after the hour he shot narrowly wide from good positions twice in the space of a minute.

County had another great chance in the 77th. minute when only a last ditch tackle from Daihi Garry prevented Philly Gorman getting his foot to a Cathal Brady cross.

It was McKenna who came close to killing off the game with seven minutes left when he rose at the back post to meet Gary Murphy's cross but Austin O’Neill made a stunning save to deny the big striker a second.

Another disappointing result at home for the Thoroughbreds, who will have to start putting points on the board if they are to harbour any hopes of finishing top of the rest in the First division this season.

Kildare County: Treacy (O'Neill h/t); Donnelly, Roche (Robinson 73), Brophy (Tyrell 31), Clancy; Brady, Fortune, Kavanagh, Slattery; Kilduff, Gorman.

Longford: O'Riordan; Garry, Frawley, Doyle, O'Donnell; Murphy, Hardy, Rushe, Davoren, Lynch (Kelly 67); McKenna.

Referee: J. McLoughlin (Athlone).

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