Longford Town and Treaty United shared the points at Bishopsgate for the second time this season with a 1-1 draw. Sam Verdon gave the home side an early lead from a set-piece but the in-form Enda Curran scored his 17th goal of the season in all competitions to ensure that his side’s unbeaten run stretches to three games in the Airtricity League First Division.
Tommy Barrett made four changes to the starting team with Jack Brady, Joel Coustrain, Matt Keane and Conor Melody replacing Conor Winn, Sean Guerins, Dean George and Willie Armshaw. Armshaw and Winn were on the bench and were joined by captain Jack Lynch.
As a result, Mark Walsh partnered Callum McNamara at the heart of the visiting defence with Keane and slotting into midfield. Coustrain and Melody played on the left and right flank respectively, either side of Enda Curran.
Conor Melody created Treaty’s first opening as a swift turn and shot was saved by Dennison. Longford opened the scoring when a floated free kick was headed on by Mick McDonnell into the path of Verdon who headed into the net from close range. Ten minutes before half-time, former Longford striker Curran dragged a shot wide from just inside the penalty area after Longford failed to sufficiently clear a Ludden corner.
Five minutes later an audacious long-range strike from Aaron Robinson had Brady back peddling as it hit the top of the crossbar and behind to safety. As we approached the half-time break, Curran received the ball with his back to goal and held off his marker Matt Dunne before rifling a right footed effort into the top corner to continue his fine form and make it 17 goals in all competitions this season.
Longford are known for playing an attractive style of football and although it wasn’t always evident today, good intricated play in midfield between Robinson, Verdon and McMenemy allowed the latter to set Mark Hanratty free on the left flank and the wingers cross was met by Corbally but his shot was saved by Brady.
As the game wore on, it was the visitors who looked more likely to grab the next goal as Christopher turned inside the box before forcing a save from Luke Dennison. Ludden also tried his luck with a free kick from range, but it sailed harmlessly wide.
Longford made plenty of changes to their line up with the likes of Christian Maguersan and Adam Verdon being introduced but it didn’t aid their attack as Matt O’Brien’s long-range shot was the best they could muster as Brady easily collected. Treaty also introduced four substitutions with Jack Lynch, Willie Armshaw, Success Edogun and Colin Conroy entering the fray.
With three minutes of normal time remaining, Treaty came so close to grabbing a winner when Christopher gathered possession on the edge of the area, but his curling right-footed shot hit the post and was cleared to safety. Referee Adriano Reale added three minutes of injury time but neither side could create a clear-cut chance to take all three points and it was third draw of the season between the sides.
Longford remain four points ahead of Treaty while Treaty are now 10 points clear of 6th place Wexford with Ian Ryan’s side having four games left to play. Treaty have three games left in the league and they host Galway United at the Markets Field next Friday night on a night when they could seal a play-off spot.
Longford Town: Dennison, Barker, Dunne McDonnell, Lynch, Robinson, McMenemy (O’Brien 71), Corbally (Clarke 64), Hanratty (Adam Verdon 78), Adeyemo (Maguersan 71), Sam Verdon (Power 78)
Treaty United: Brady, Christopher, O’Riordan, McNamara, Ludden, Devitt, Walsh, Coustrain (Armshaw 56), Keane (Lynch 64), Melody (Edogun 64), Curran (Conroy 82)