O’Connor and O’Sullivan start
THERE WAS some infighting in the class of 2014 this week as Longford Town went head to head with Waterford United and Derry City took on Sligo Rovers.
Rhys Gorman found himself benched for the visit of Waterford and he was joined there by Willie Tyrrell but there were starting berths for Kevin O’Connor and Davy O’Sullivan.
For Waterford, Shane Murray returned from illness to take his place in the centre of midfield.
Tragedy almost struck for O’Connor as he accidentally deflected a shot from Waterford’s Kynan Rocks but the Bray man’s blushes were spared by Town goalkeeper Chris Bennion who clawed the ball away to safety.
After the half hour mark, Murray’s free kick was headed back out to him and his second attempt at a cross found Paddy Barrett but he missed the target with his header.
Early in the second period, a Murray corner kick struck the hand of a Longford defender but the visitors’ pleas for a penalty fell on deaf ears.
Having nearly put through his own net, O’Connor then came close to putting his side ahead.
Noel Haverty delivered the pass from the right and O’Connor let fly from an excellent position but his effort finished wide.
Davy O’Sullivan then took up the mantle as he chased a Don Cowan pass, only to be denied by Waterford’s man of the match goalkeeper Kevin Burns.
Cowan then laid one off for O’Sullivan and he was cruelly denied a goal by the woodwork.
Longford had one final chance on the Waterford goal in the very last minute as O’Connor forced a stunning save from Burns with a powerful free kick.
Unlike Longford Town, Derry City did manage to find a winner in their clash with the Bit O’Red at the Brandywell on Friday evening.
Former Arklow Town team-mates Aaron Barry and Danny Ledwith didn’t quite go face to face, Barry enjoyed a full outing at centre half, while Ledwith watched on from the bench as Enda Curran’s 54th minute strike decided the contest.
Both sides were in action again on Monday evening. Barry was switched to left back for Derry’s trip to Oriel Park, where they were on the end of a 3-0 lashing at the hands of Dundalk.
Rovers hosted Dundalk’s rivals, Drogheda United, and despite a first minute strike from captain Alan Keane, they were held to a 1-1 draw. Ledwith again failed to make it onto the pitch.
There was a goalscorer amongst the Co. Wicklow men this week. Shamrock Rovers B sped down the N11 to Ferrycarrig Park and found themselves trailing 2-0 to Wexford Youths courtesy of a Danny Furlong brace.
Daniel Purdy pulled one back for the Hoops and then Bray’s Chris Lyons converted 76th minute penalty to level matters.
It ended in heartbreak for Rovers though as Furlong completed his hat-trick in injury time to secure all three points for Wexford.
Hughie Douglas also suffered his fair share of heartbreak this week. The defender played the full 90 for UCD as they had a win snatched from them by Limerick on Friday evening.
Tomas Boyle had given the Students the lead but Jason Hughes found the net in second half stoppage time to deny UCD victory. After the match, Douglas tweeted: “Jesus football can be cruel”.
UCD were back in action on Monday, making the short trip to Tallaght to take on Shamrock Rovers. Rovers hit the woodwork three times in the opening 45 minutes and finally got their just desserts after the interval as Ryan Brennan and Ronan Finn earned their side a 2-0 win.
That win keeps Rovers above arch rivals Bohemians in the Premier Division.
It was a good few days for the Gypsies though; poaching a late point against Bray Wanderers on Friday and picking up a 1-3 win away to Athlone Town on Monday. Andy Mulligan did not feature but he is nearing his return from injury.