Longford Town 0 - 1 Waterford UnitedSun, Jul 22 2012
Peter White was the Blues hero after his 55th minute goal gave Waterford United a valuable win against Longford Town to close the gap on the Midlanders to just one point. They are now just four behind leaders Limerick courtesy of the win in Flancare Park.
The goal was a little against the run of play after Longford had started the second half brightly but the story of late has been that they have rued not putting away the chances they have created. It really was a dismal night for the home side and they finished the game with nine men after Alan Kirby was shown a second yellow in the 90th minute, just two minutes later Colly James received a straight red for dissent. Waterford also had a player sent off, Ben Ryan receiving a second yellow in the 86th minute for a foul on Daniel Purdy.
Chances were few and far between in the opening half. Gary Dempsey had a free in the sixth minute that was cleared by the Town defence and then one minute later former Blues player Karl Bermingham forced a very good save from Packie Holden after being played in by Purdy.
Although Longford enjoyed much of the possession they failed to create anything of note, the next chance falling to the visitors in the 18th minute when Dylan Mernagh headed Dempsey’s right-wing corner wide.
Town net-minder Craig Hyland was forced into making a save in the 26th minute, pushing Peter Keegan’s cross away to safety. And six minutes later Keegan tried his luck from a tight angle but once again Hyland made a good save.
The game really came to life in the final five minutes of the half with both sides having chances to break the deadlock. In the 40th minute Waterford striker Sean Maguire gave the ball away in his own half, allowing Mark Salmon to pick the ball up. He found the space to take a shot but his effort let him down. One minute later and Maguire nearly made amends for that mistake but Hyland made a good diving save.
Longford started the second half well and had a great opportunity to open the scoring in the 50th minute; Purdy’s free from the right was kept in play by Des Hope and the ball fell to Gary Shaw but Holden made a great save to deny the striker.
Five minutes later and the deadlock was broken. Noel Haverty gave away a silly free kick about 25 yards out near the sideline. Dempsey floated the ball into the box and it met the head of Peter White who looped the ball over Hyland and into the Longford net.
Waterford were buoyed by the goal and went in search of number two. In the 58th minute Keegan’s ball found Mernagh but Haverty did very well to block his effort. In the 64th minute Longford came very close to equalising when Thomas Crawley’s cross was met by Bermingham but his header was cleared off the line by Craig Burns. Bermingham then turned provider in the 75th minute but Stephen Mulcahy and Burns combined well to clear.
The game faded as a contest for a 10 minute spell before it burst into life four minutes from the end. First Ryan was shown a second yellow for a foul on Purdy. With the numerical advantage Town pressed for an equaliser but the Blues stood firm.
In the 90th minute Waterford should’ve sealed victory; Maguire slipped the ball to Keegan and with Hyland out of goal the striker saw his opportunity but he somehow shot wide. Down at the other end Kirby went down in the box and for his efforts he received a second yellow.
The drama didn’t end there and two minutes into stoppage time Colly James received a straight red to compound a miserable night for the home side.
Longford Town: Craig Hyland; Noel Haverty, Willo McDonagh, Des Hope, Thomas Crawley; Craig Walsh (Tony Griffiths 70), Mark Salmon, Karl Bermingham (Colm James 76), Alan Kirby; Gary Shaw, Daniel Purdy.
Subs not used: Paul Hunt, Gary Cronin, Niall O’Reilly, Chris Deans, Jamie Duffy.
Bookings: Haverty (54), Kirby (59), Griffiths (71).
Sendings Off: Kirby (90), James (90+2).
Waterford United: Packie Holden; Stephen Mulcahy, Craig Burns, Seamus Long, John Frost; Ben Ryan, Peter White, Gary Dempsey, Dylan Mernagh (Paul Phelan 78); Peter Keegan, Sean Maguire.
Subs not used: David Breen, Conor Coad, Willie John Kiely, Aidan McGrath, Jamie Cross, Robbie Hughes.
Bookings: Ryan (62).
Sendings Off: Ryan (86).
Referee: Sean Grant (Wexford).
Attendance: 400 (estimate).
extratime.ie Man of the Match: Peter White (Waterford Utd).