No home comfort for Longford as Rovers take the points

Sean O’Connor and Kieran Waters strike to help Pat Fenlon’s men sink Longford Town

Sean O’Connor opened the scoring for Shamrock Rovers in their 2-0 win at Longford Town. Photograph: Inpho

Sean O’Connor opened the scoring for Shamrock Rovers in their 2-0 win at Longford Town. Photograph: Inpho

 

Longford Town 0 Shamrock Rovers 2

First half goals from wingers Sean O’Connor and Marty Waters ensured there was no happy homecoming for Longford as a clinical Shamrock Rovers display saw them take the points back to Tallaght.

Two wins out of two keeps Pat Fenlon’s Rovers joint top of the table while newly-promoted Longford’s honest endeavour brought no reward for the second week running.

That might have been different as Tony Cousins’ side almost had the dream start to their first home match back in the Premier Division in eight years with a gilt-edged chance inside the opening minute.

David O’Sullivan did well to get Gary Shaw in on goal. Rovers’ keeper Craig Hyland took the sting out of the shot, though, with Dave Webster completing the clearance.

A route one attack opened Rovers up again ten minutes later as Martin Deady’s first time lob went over the bar.

Rovers settled to force four corners in quick succession, before working Paul Hunt for the first time on 20 minutes.

Gary McCabe’s ball was perfect for the run of Danny North with Hunt needing to get out smartly to make a smother save.

Kevin O’Connor chipped not far over the bar for Longford a minute later before a goal out of nothing brought Rovers a 24th minute lead.

O’Connor was given too much time and space some 25 yards out and his dipping left-foot shot seemed to deceive Hunt to end up in the corner of his net.

Longford had a big shout for a penalty ignored by referee Padraig Sutton when Shaw appeared to be hauled down by Hyland before sloppy defending cost them a second goal on 41 minutes.

North’s tenacity saw him charge down Pat Flynn’s attempted clearance. The ball spun into the path of Waters who cleverly jinked between two defenders to thread his shot through the legs of Hunt and into the net.

Town brought on Don Cowan from the resumption and went 4-4-2, but struggled to create openings.

O’Connor had a shot on the turn over the bar ten minutes in. But Rovers remained in control, however, with substitute Mikey Drennan and North bringing saves out of Hunt.

O’Sullivan might have provided a grandstand finish ten minutes from time. Picked out by O’Connor, Longford’s record goalscorer showed good control to turn and get in a volley which went wide across goal.

Longford Town: Hunt; Mulhall, Flynn, Tyrell (Rossiter, 71), Powell; Shaw, O’Connor, Salmon (Gorman, 84), Rice, Deady (Cowan, h/t); O’Sullivan.

Shamrock Rovers: Hyland; Madden, Webster, Kenna, Byrne; S. O’Connor (Drennan, 66), Fahey, McPhail, Waters; McCabe; North (R. Brennan, 83).

Referee: Padraigh Sutton (Clare).

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