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Kerry FC v Longford Town photo gallery - 5 April 2024

Match Report – Kerry FC v Longford Town



Kerry FC were back at home on Friday night as they took on Longford Town in Mounthawk Park for the final game of the first quarter of the season. Kerry FC came into the game off the back of yet another draw last Monday as they played UCD to finish the Bank Holiday weekend. A second-half Daniel Okwute goal got Kerry back into the game in the second half and the kingdom pressured for the remainder of the game but did not score a second. Ryan Kelliher came close to getting the winner in added time but was ruled offside to everyone’s dismay.

It is the fiftieth competitive game in the club’s history and the fiftieth competitive appearance for midfielder Sean McGrath who is the only player in the squad to be involved in every game in Kerry FC’s brief history. It is the first time in that period that Kerry will play a team below them in the table, so they were hoping to extend that gap by the end of the night.

Like Kerry FC, Longford Town are yet to win a league game this season and were hoping that their first trip to Kerry would kick off their season in the best way possible. Kerry FC head coach Conor McCarthy said during the week that he expects a tough battle against the midland club but is hopeful that his team will come out full of strength and energy to get the club’s first home League of Ireland victory.

First Half
Longford had the early possession, but they did extraordinarily little to capitalise on the ball that they had in that period with Kerry coming into it after surviving the early pressure, having the game’s first two major chances themselves.

Daniel Okwute first had a shot from the edge of the box but was gathered easily from Jack Brady and Kennedy Amechi let off a shot with great power which forced another save from Brady which was a bit harder to deal with. The shot resulted in a corner that reached Sean O’Connell who got another attempt on the board for Kerry FC but unfortunately dragged wide of the post.

On the half-hour mark, Kerry’s early signs at goal were paid back to them as Sean McGrath put the home side in the lead. A loose pass from Longford set Daniel Okwute on his way and he passed it inside to Ryan Kelliher. Kelliher then gave it inside to Steven Healy in space who looked up to find Sean McGrath. It looked like the chance had gone away from him, but he twisted and turned eventually letting fly as the ball went straight into the bottom right corner. A big moment for McGrath as previously mentioned he was playing his fiftieth competitive game in Kerry FC’s fiftieth competitive game, and it was fitting he was the man to put Kerry FC in front.

Kerry dominated proceedings from there for the rest of the half with Kennedy Amechi having another shot on goal on the edge of the box but again another effort from Kerry went wide. Luke Wade-Slater had Longford biggest chance of the half just a few minutes later and probably should have equalised. A great cross from Kyle O’Connor was put into a dangerous area and the diving header from Slater went just wide to the relief of the home crowd.

Just before halftime, Kerry extended their lead through Ryan Kelliher. Sean McGrath was involved again as he sent Ryan on his way. A drop of the shoulder inside the area tricked the Longford defence and he stuck the ball into the bottom right corner to give Kerry FC a bit of breathing space.

It could have been three just before the halftime whistle as a ball played into Kennedy Amechi was just caught underneath him. Although he still directed his effort towards the goal, Brady was there to keep it out. Daire McCarthy also had a shot saved from Daly before halftime as it was becoming hard to fathom that Kerry were not leading by at least three at the end of the first forty-five.

Second Half:
Daniel Okwute was itching to get on the score sheet and had two shots in quick succession. The first went wide but the second was forced away from Brady for a corner which did not lead to anything.

Longford looked out on their feet and could not break down the Kerry FC defence despite their best efforts. Andy Spain, Kevin Williams, and Sam Aladesanusi all winning great headers making life much easier for Antonio Tuta between the sticks.

Kerry added a third with fifteen minutes to play through Kennedy Amechi who deserved the goal through his brilliant gameplay both attacking and defensive during the entirety of the game. Sean McGrath added another assist to his man-of-the-match performance as he passed the ball through to Kennedy who brilliantly finished his chance with an outside-of-the-boot shot into the bottom left corner. Mounthawk Park was rocking despite the terrible weather but Kerry FC had the ground singing in the rain.

Four minutes of added time were played, and it ended three nil to Kerry FC on a historic night for the kingdom as they won their first-ever League of Ireland home fixture on their twenty-third time of asking. Everyone involved in the club deserved that one as Kerry FC extended their unbeaten run to seven games. They go to The Markets Field next Friday when they take on Treaty United away for the first time this season.

Kerry FC Team: 1. Antonio Tuta, 15. Kevin Williams, 5. Andy Spain (C), 18. Samuel Aladesanusi, 3. Sean O’Connell, 21. Daire McCarthy, 7. Sean McGrath (Goal ‘30), 14. Steven Healy, 9. Ryan Kelliher (Goal ‘45), 11. Daniel Okwute, 12. Kennedy Amechi (Goal ‘81).

Subs: Darragh Foley, Ethan Kos, Ronan Teahan, Steven Healy, Cian Brosnan, Evison Rramani, Samuel Aladesanusi, Finn Barrett, Graham O’Reilly, Cianan Cooney.

Longford Town: 1. Jack Brady, 2. Shane Elworthy (C), 3. Kyle O’Connor, 5. Oisin Hand, 7. Luke Wade Slater, 11. Adam Wixted, 17. Jordan Tallon, 19. Karl Chambers, 20. Conor Crowley, 21. Bastien Hery, 27. Dean O’Shea.

Subs: Jack McCarthy, Ross Fay, Samuel Clarke, Emmanuel James, Guilherme Rego Priosti.