Max Blanchard helps Shamrock Rovers keep up record

Rovers now 13 games unbeaten as they see off Longford Town in Tallaght

Gavin Brennan opened the scoring for Shamrock Rovers in their SSE Airtricity League Premier Division game against Longford Town in Tallaght. Photo:  Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Gavin Brennan opened the scoring for Shamrock Rovers in their SSE Airtricity League Premier Division game against Longford Town in Tallaght. Photo: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

 

Shamrock Rovers 3 Longford Town 2

Max Blanchard was Shamrock Rovers’ unlikely matchwinner with a brace of second-half goals at Tallaght Stadium. The victory stretched Rovers’ unbeaten start to the season to 13 games.

Rovers started well and were rewarded within six minutes. A move down the right involved Simon Madden and Patrick Cregg who worked the ball to Brandon Miele. The winger’s draw was batted away by Longford keeper Paul Skinner but Gavin Brennan smashed the rebound to the net.

Longford were level on 32 minutes when skipper Mark Salmon floated a corner in from the left and Pat Flynn headed to the net.

Minutes later the visitors’ might have been ahead. Gary Shaw poked the ball through for Stephen Rice whose rushed shot was wide. Shaw wasted a chance to give Tony Cousins’ side the lead three minutes before the break.

Rovers were better on the resumption and slack marking from a Brennan corner saw central defender Blanchard stab home at the back post to restore Rovers’ lead.

Two minutes later Blanchard had a lucky escape as be appeared to trip Shaw in the area. The penalty wasn’t given with Longford manager Tony Cousins sent to the stands for his protests. Within three minutes the big Frenchman got his second goal when again left unmarked to head home substitute Marty Waters’ free kick.

Town didn’t lie down and substitute Kalem Simon shot home from Salmon’s headed pass on 83 minutes. But Rovers almost snatched a fourth in stoppage time when Waters shaved a post.

SHAMROCK ROVERS: Hyland; Madden, Kenna, Blanchard, Byrne; Miele (waters, 60), Cregg, Fahey, G Brennan; Drennan (McCaffrey, 90+2), North (McCabe, 75).

LONGFORD TOWN: Skinner; Sullivan, Rossiter (Mulhall, h/t), Flynn (Tyrell, 73), Deady; Salmon, O’Connor, Rice, Ben Mohamed; Shaw, O’Sullivan (Simon, 67).

Referee: Derek Tomney (Dublin).

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