Longford knock Rovers out of the FAI Cup

Longford Town knocked Sligo Rovers out of the FAI Cup for the second year running at the Showgrounds.

Jamie Hollywood’s second half-strike was enough for the Town to edge past the Bit O’Red who had their chances, but were unable to find a way past Longford goalkeeper Mick Kelly.

On their way to repeating last year’s 4-2 win over the Bit O’Red, it was Neale Fenn’s side who almost hit the lead in the opening minute.

Sligo goalkeeper Mitchell Beeney forced into action early on as he got down to push Dylan McGlade’s effort away for a corner.

Rovers almost caught Town on the hop shortly after.

Regan Donelon picking Karl Chambers’ pocket and with Kelly off his line, Raff Cretaro could only shoot over his attempted chip from 25 yards.

Sligo, who last won the cup five years ago, were just a whisker away from taking the lead themselves on 17.

A Longford defender got the slightest of touches to David Cawley’s ball across the face of goal with the unmarked Patrick McClean ready to pounce just inches from the target.

The woodwork then came to Town’s rescue. Kyle Callan-McFadden pushing his way past his marker to head Rhys McCabe’s cross goalward. The Donegal man could only watch as his effort came back off the crossbar.

Rovers struck the frame of the goal again on the hour. Kris Twardek and Lee Lynch combining down the Town left. The latter’s drilled cross was met first time by the waiting Drennan but his placed shot came off the inside of the post before landing straight back into the arms of Kelly.

The midlanders had lost goal-threat Sam Verdon to an ankle injury in the first half. But there was little sign of them missing their striker when they then sensationally hit the lead on 65.

The tricky McGlade skilfully dancing around Jack Keaney at the end line before squaring for Hollywood, who gleefully slipped the ball under Beeney. Although the Sligo ‘keeper should have done better.

Rovers had plenty of possession inside the Longford half for the remainder of the game but to no joy. While Longford too had a chance to settle the game.

Mick McDonnell bravely threw himself in front of Cawley’s volley. While Beeney was at full stretch to deflect McGlade’s rifled effort past his far post.

Sligo had a late, late chance to force extra time, but credit to Kelly to stood strong to deny Drennan with his feet as the attacker bore down on goal with Tristan Noack-Hofmann for attention.

Sligo Rovers: Mitchell Beeney; Kyle Callan-McFadden, Patrick McClean, John Mahon (Jack Keaney HT); Kris Twardek, Regan Donelon (Lewis Morrison 70); David Cawley, Rhys McCabe; Lee Lynch, Raff Cretaro (Caolan McAleer 63); Mikey Drennan.

Longford Town: Mick Kelly; Karl Chambers, Mick McDonnell, Daniel O’Reilly, Tristan Noack-Hofmann ; Aodh Dervin, Jamie Hollywood, Dean Zambra; Darren Meenan, Sam Verdon (Peter Hopkins 27), Dylan McGlade.

Referee: Neil Doyle.