United battle back to tee up Terryland thriller

Ben Lynch of Longford Town in action against Max Hemmings of Galway United during the SSE Airtricity League First Division play-off semi-final first leg match between Longford Town and Galway United at Bishopsgate in Longford. Photo by Ben McShane/Sportsfile

Ben Lynch of Longford Town in action against Max Hemmings of Galway United during the SSE Airtricity League First Division play-off semi-final first leg match between Longford Town and Galway United at Bishopsgate in Longford. Photo by Ben McShane/Sportsfile

Longford Town 2

Galway United 2

Galway United twice fought back from behind to force a draw in an absorbing playoff tie in Bishopsgate on Wednesday evening.

United had started the brighter, with Adam Thomas, Conor McCormack and David Hurley all laying down early markers in midfield. Their graft created chances too, with Killian Brouder, McCormack and Stephen Walsh all threatening from distance in the first ten minutes.

Longford eventually settled and Darren Clarke again provided their attacking outlet on the right. It was the home team who took the lead when Clarke capitalised on a defensive mishap. He checked back on to his left foot and planted a curled cross on to the head of Jordan Adeyemo. The ex-United striker powered a header through Conor Kearns from four yards out.

Clarke nearly made it two ten minutes later. He cut in from the right and floated an effort that sailed past the United defence but not the back post.

The introduction of Mikie Rowe at half-time signalled a change in United's fortunes. He combined with Hurley to carve a chance shortly after the turnaround. The same duo combined for a precious equaliser in the 52nd minute. Hurley stole clear into the Longford box and squared to Rowe who provided an assured finish.

Buoyed by the goal and a boisterous travelling support, United nearly went 2-1 up almost immediately only for Walsh's header to be scooped clear by 'keeper Luke Dennison.

Longford cleared their lines and immediately went on the attack. The ball eventually broke to Adeyemo who tormented United again by steering home for his second.

The game was now frantic and United were on terms again on the hour mark when a long Brouder throw was squirmed home by the energetic Rowe.

Walsh went close again shortly after and the game eventually settled down thereafter. Though there was much industry from both sides in an honest contest, it was only at the stroke of full-time that either goal was truly threatened. The tireless Hurley pulled a fantastic save from Dennison to set up a mouthwatering second-leg in Eamon Deacy Park on Sunday at 4pm.

Galway United: Kearns; Hemmings, Bruder, Finnerty, o Keefe ; Mccarthy (Rowe 45 ) Thomas (Manley 59 ), McCormack, Hurley Manning (Waweru 82 ); Walsh

Longford Town: Dennison; Chambers, McDonnell, Barker, Lynch; Clarke, Robinson, Corbally (Hanratty 63 ), Power (Verdon 70 ), McMenamy, Adeyemo (Maguersan 83 ).

 

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