Excellent first half sees County take all three points
Longford Town 0 Kildare County 1
A superb headed goal by Colin Fortune after just seven minutes was enough to give County all three points and lift them off the foot of the table following an entertaining tie at Flancare Park Last night.
The Longford region escaped the worst of the monsoon type downpours which caused major disruption throughout the midlands and thankfully the game went ahead as scheduled.
Town, who are in seventh place, had no injury worries, while John Ryan was without the suspended Philip Hughes and Glen Walsh (holidays). Aaron Callaghan’s side, after a recent poor run, seemed to have turned things around with an impressive away victory over Limerick 37 in their previous outing and another three points here would have seen them join Monaghan (at least temporarily), who play Athlone Town today, in sixth place.
It was the Thoroughbreds however who showed the greater urgency in the early stages and they hit the front after just seven minutes when Colin Fortune rose high above the home defence to powerfully head home Colin Murray’s corner from the left.
County should have doubled their advantage five minutes later when Ger Robinson was through on goal but rather than shooting himself he opted to square the ball to Craig Mooney, whose effort was hacked away off the line. Robinson had another great chance to put more daylight between the sides in the eighteenth minute when he turned superbly in the box but mishit his shot from twelve yards.
Longford’s only real chance of a first half, in which John Ryan’s side were well on top, came time added on but Austin O’Neill dealt comfortably with Rob Douglas’s headed effort. Cathan Brady, who was a real thorn in the side of an overworked home defence in the first half, worryingly suffered a recurrence of a hamstring injury and was replaced by Eoin Kavanagh at the break.
Town improved in the second half with County seeming to content defend their slender lead. They had their best spell midway through the second half when an in form Austin O’Neill was called on to deal with efforts from Jason Oladele, Daire Doyle and Evan Connolly.
The Kildare defence, with new signing Dave O’Connell settling in well at centre back alongside the experienced Paul Donnelly and with the two Colins – Osbourne and Murray -in the full back positions, is now looking a solid unit and they will be happy to have registered their second clean sheet in three outings.
As Lonford’s challenge fizzled out in the final minutes Ciaran Kilduff and Trevor Bowers, who had replaced Ger Robinson with eleven minutes remaining, came close to adding a second and Colin Mooney was unlucky to see his shot just clear the bar after a jinking run down the left.
“I am happy with the win but we are really going to have to take more of the chances we are creating” said John Ryan after the game. “ Its’ nice to keep another clean sheet and the new lads are growing in confidence with each game. We have now hauled ourselves off the bottom and back into a battle with Athlone Town, Longford Town and Monaghan United, who are all within striking distance and hopefully we will achieve a midtable finish” the manager concluded.
Longford Town: Gallagher, Gough, Doyle, Brennan, Garry (O’Riordan 64), Murphy, Hardy (Connolly 64), Rushe, Douglas (Harte 58), Oladele, McKenna.
Kildare County: O’Neill, Osbourne, Donnelly, O’Connell, Murray, Slattery (Vickery 90), Brady (Kavanagh HT), Fortune, Mooney, Robinson (Bowers 79), Kilduff
Other subs: Issaka, Treacy.
Referee: Fitzgerald (Dublin)
Click on link below for highlights of game.