A blunder from Town keeper Stephen Conlon just before the end cost his side a valuable point and helped Shels keep their fight for a promotion place still very much alive.
Just when it looked like the Town had done enough to claim a point against Shelbourne the goalkeeper got a rush of blood to the head and came chasing out for a ball, he completely missed it and Mark Leech was able to go through on goal and slot the ball into an empty net.
Marc Hughes had just minutes before that brought his side back on level terms; finishing off Byrne’s cross to the net after Victor Ekanem had put the Town in front in the 68th minute.
The Town enjoyed some early possession but once Shels got a hold on proceedings they carved out numerous opportunities.
Town keeper Stephen Conlon had to be alert in the 7th minute; Eric Foley played in Paul Shiels but Conlon made a fine save with his feet to deny the midfielder.
Conlon though was lucky not to have been punished when coming out for a ball ahead of Shels striker Marc Hughes. But lucky for him the ball bounced out for a corner.
In the 23rd minute the visitors created the best chance of the opening period. Shiels played a perfect crossfield ball that landed at the feet of David McGill, he turned Town full-back Chris Deans but his curling effort went just wide.
It was all Shelbourne at this stage and they had another attempt on goal in the 32nd minute. McGill turned provider this time put his pinpoint cross from the right was headed just wide of the target by Dinny Corcoran with the Town goal at his mercy.
Town’s only attempt on goal in was a free-kick from Craig Walsh in the 34th minute that sailed into the hands of Shels keeper Dean Delaney. As a Town player went challenging in for the ball Delaney fell over and injured himself in the process. The game had to be held up for a matter of minutes while he received treatment and he was eventually replaced by sub keeper Steve Williams.
Although the visitors dominated the first half but it was the Town that created the best chance of the half four minutes from the break; former Shels striker Dave Freeman was unlucky to see his powerful effort come off the upright.
The last quarter of the first half produced some good chances and patches of play but the football at the beginning of the second half left a lot to be desired.
As a roar went up from the Shels fans on hearing the full-time result in Salthill it looked like it would give the visitors the motivation to really get at the Town. But it didn’t have the desired effect on them and it was the home side that seized the initiative and broke the deadlock in the 68th minute.
Cathal Brady’s cross from the left wasn’t clear properly by the Shels defence and the loose ball fell to substitution Victor Ekanem, who rifled an unstoppable shot past Shels keeper Williams. The midfielder had only been on the pitch six minutes when he fired his side in front.
Shels piled on the pressure and a frantic final six minutes they not only salvaged a point but came away with all three with Hughes and Leech on target.
Longford Town: Conlon, Deans, Byrne, Lester, Lee, Brady, Salmon, Hyland, Walsh (Ekanem 62), A Roche, Freeman (Cowan 74).
Yellow card: Deans 29mins
Shelbourne: Delaney (Williams 39), Coburn, Paisley, Ryan, Byrne, McGill (O’Brien 67), Shiels, Scully, Foley, Corcoran (Leech ht), Hughes.
Yellow cards: Paisley 3mins, Coburn 17mins, Shiels 34mins, Scully 76mins.
Extratime man of match: Marc Hughes (Shelbourne)
Referee: Rob Rogers (Dublin)