A Willie John Kiely spot kick in the 85th minute was enough to send Waterford United into next week’s league-opener against Athlone Town on the back of a 2-1 victory.
A goal from Don Cowan after 25 minutes handed Longford a 1-0 lead in a cold and wet RSC, before Andrew McAleevey drew the side’s level just after the break.
With just minutes remaing a Jack Doherty cross was handled in the Longford penalty area by Connor Dunne. Willie John Kiely took charge of the spot kick and fired the ball deep into the bottom right hand side of the Town’s net.
The Blues were first to create a real goal scoring chance. Greg Peel ran at the Town back four before sliding the ball through to Jack Doherty. A fantastic tackle from Rice was enough to deny Doherty a scoring chance.
The Blues should have opened the scoring on 20 minutes, after a well-won free, Doherty whipped the ball in to the Town’s six-yard box. Rice touched the ball towards his own keeper, who made a great reactiion save to keep the visitors level.
It was Longford Town who eventually opened the scoring from a well-worked corner. Lorcan Shannon whipped a dangerous ball into the Blues six yard box, where Don Cowan was on hand to touch the ball past Matthew Connor from close range.
The home side had a great chance to make it level just before half time when a fantastic pass from Doherty found the feet of Glen Hawe. More fine goalkeeping from Hunt kept Longford’s lead intact when the Midlanders’ shot-stopper pounced at the feet of Hawe to smother his effort.
It didn’t take the Blues long to pull the game level after the halftime interval. Second half substitution, Shane Nolan found himself in possession in the Longford area. The ex-Wexford Youths player fed the ball to McAleevey who fired home to bring the home side back into the game.
The visitors reacted well, and put the home side under pressure from the kick-off, forcing a great save from Connor in the Waterford goal, before Cowan saw his own effort hit the back of his teammate.
Waterford were awarded a free-kick, when David O’Sullivan took down Brian Nolan outside the Longford’s area. O’Sullivan was lucky not to see red. Doherty stood over the ball and fired a great cross deep into the Longford box, where Dineen’s shot sailed high over Skinner’s crossbar.
The Blues were awarded a penalty in the 85th minute when Connor Dunne handled a Jack Doherty cross. Willie John Kiely stood up to face Skinner, and slotted home the spot kick with ease.
Longford reacted well, and were denied by the crossbar. Powell fed the ball to O’Sullivan who rattled Robert Birdsall’s crossbar from close range. Birdsall well beaten only for the crossbar.
The Blues ran out deserving winner as the curtain came down on the club’s pre-season campaign for 2015.
David Pheasey, Pundit Arena
Featured image By Hoops341 (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons