Date Time League Season
29 May 2021 4:00 pm Premier Division 2021

Match Report

Gaffney grinds out late Rovers winner

Shamrock Rovers ended their losing run with a dramatic 95th minute winner this afternoon at Bishopsgate.

Rory Gaffney had the ball in the net after half an hour, but his goal was ruled out for a handball.

Graham Burke missed what looked like an easy finish in the second-half, which looked to be an important miss after Longford had frustrated the Hoops.

They kept plugging away though, and Gaffney powered home with one of the final kicks of the game to break the tenacious Town resistance.

If you were looking to have an afternoon nap, the first half of this game would have been the perfect opportunity to catch some shuteye. Neither side had a shot on target in the first 45, and the best chance came with seconds on the clock.

Graham Burke saw a shot bounce slowly past the far post after he attempted to catch Lee Steacy off-guard. There would then be a lot of passing sideways and giving up possession from both sides, with no one trying to take the game to the opposition.

The Hoops thought they’d opened the scoring when Gaffney controlled a cross from the left and pummelled the ball past the Longford ‘keeper. However, keen eyed referee Ray Matthews spotted that he had taken the ball down with his arm.

The second-half contained just a tad more excitement. Burke should have put Stephen Bradley’s men ahead with a shot from around the penalty spot after a pullback from Scales. The low finish edged agonisingly past the post.

It seemed as if it would be a day of frustration for the Dublin outfit, as they controlled the ball, and De Town didn’t even vaguely threaten putting anything on the scoresheet.

However, time ticked on into what is now dubbed ‘Bradley time’, with five minutes added.

A ball in from Mandriou on the left caused chaos in the home box, Lee Grace dived in with a header, but Steacy pawed the ball clear, but only as far as the onrushing Gaffney.

Bang! The big number 20 can seemingly only blast the ball into the net. There was no stopping his shot into the Longford net. Rovers had grabbed victory at the death once again.

Stephen Bradley will be pleased that his team stuck with it and got the result. For Daire Doyle, its another defeat, when they deserved a point, which will make it sting that much more.

  • Full Time: Longford Town 0 - 1 Shamrock Rovers

  • 90'

    With the last kick! Gaffney scores! He blasts the ball home after Grace had his header saved.

  • 90'

    Dylan Grimes catches the ball on the volley, but he blazes the shot over.

  • 90'

    Five minutes of added time.

  • 89'

    Joe Manley is on for Longford.

  • 89'

    Rob Manley is off for Longford.

  • 88'

    Lopes heads a corner just wide of the left top corner.

  • 87'

    Rovers haven't really tested the Longford backline, crosses have been well dealt with, and the centre-halves have been excellent.

  • 82'

    Chris McCann is on for Shamrock Rovers.

  • 82'

    Gary O'Neill is off for Shamrock Rovers.

  • 80'

    10 minutes to go and its been a very poor game so far. One team misfiring and the other with a very conservative game plan.

  • 79'

    Graham Burke cuts inside from the right and has a shot, but its easily saved.

  • 75'

    Aaron Dobbs is off for De Town.

  • 75'

    Dean Byrne is on for De Town.

  • 73'

    Aaron Greene is off for Rovers.

  • 73'

    Dean Williams comes on for Rovers.

  • 70'

    Longford are hanging on. They've been defensively solid, but occasionally the Hoops have found a way to create a quality chance.

  • 66'

    Manley snatches at a chance in the box after the ball pings around after a free kick. Longford's best chance of the game so far.

  • 64'

    Burke misses a sitter! Great work from Mandriou down the left, the ball makes its way towards the penalty spot to Burke. He scuffs the finish wide. Big Chance!

  • 62'

    Rory Gaffney meets a cross with his head, the effort is loopy and goes well over the bar.

  • 57'

    Burke whips a free kick round the wall and Lee Steacy has to be sharp down to his left to parry it away.

  • 56'

    Thompson and McNally are off for Longford.

  • 56'

    Grimes and Chambers are on for Longford.

  • 55'

    Longford have been solid defensively in this opening 10 minutes of the second half. Both sides have upped the tempo, but not a lot of chances.

  • 47'

    O'Driscoll does fantastically to deflect a cross away from Gaffney waiting in the centre of the box.

  • 46'

    Graham Burke gets a yellow after he prevents a free kick from being taken.

  • 46'

    And we're back underway! De Town kick off.

  • Not the most exciting half. Rovers occasionally upped the tempo, but both sides look tired after packed weeks. Longford will be the happier of the two teams, with their conservative approach paying dividends with the scores level at the break.

  • 45'

    Half-time: Longford Town 0 - 0 Shamrock Rovers

  • 42'

    Lopes and Dobbs go in for a 50-50, Lopes comes off worse and Dobbs gets a yellow card.

  • 40'

    Dervin puts in a clean sliding tackle to win the ball, then shows quick feet to spin away from a Rovers midfielder. He's let down by his teammate wasting possession after he passes.

  • 36'

    Burke plays a one-two, he then unleashes a shot, but it's deflected wide.

  • 32'

    The last few minutes have been a good period of pressure from Rovers. They've certainly upped their game, Longford are struggling to cope.

  • 30'

    Graham Burke holds of his man after controlling a Mandriou pass, he flashes a shot just wide. Steacy wouldn't have got to it if it was on target.

  • 29'

    Gaffney has the ball in the back of the net! However, he controlled the ball with his arm before finishing. First really good chance for either side though.

  • 26'

    Scales is free on the left side of the box, all he needs to do is control a cross and he's got a fantastic chance. He opts for a header though, and he can't get enough power on the ball.

  • 21'

    A rather dull opening 20 minutes. Rovers look comfortable on the ball up to the final third, then have a tendency to give it away. Longford are compact, but don't look too threatening on the break.

  • 18'

    Aaron Robinson controls a cross, it sits up invitingly and he drives a volley towards goal. It's high and wide of the target.

  • 16'

    Hoare pulls a cross towards the back post. Danny Mandriou comes in to meet it, but he can't deflect the ball to Gaffney in the centre.

  • 12'

    McNally bombs down the right, nips past a defender and fires a cross. It hits Lee Grace in the chest. The referee quickly dismisses any claims of handball.

  • 10'

    Been a scrappy few minutes, not a lot of chances or events of note.

  • 4'

    Rob Manley picks up a yellow after blocking the taking of a Shamrock free kick.

  • 4'

    It's been a good start from the Hoops. Town are struggling to get on the ball and play.

  • 1'

    Graham Burke has a pop early on, it curls just past the post!

  • 1'

    And we're underway! Rovers get the ball rolling.

  • Both sides come into this game in poor runs of form. Longford have three losses on the bounce and the Hoops have two. They sit at opposite ends of the table though, Rovers in 2nd while De Town are in 9th.

  • Rovers team news: Stephen Bradley makes one change to the team that lost to Sligo. Hoare is in for O\'Brien.

  • Longford team news: there's three changes to the side that lost last time out. Davis, Grimes and Chambers are out, Robinson, McNally and Manley come in.

  • Hello and welcome to Final Whistle’s coverage of Longford Town vs Shamrock Rovers. I’m Jon Parkin and I will be covering today’s game.

Longford Town

1Lee Steacy Goalkeeper
3Paddy Kirk Defender
4Aaron Robinson Midfielder
5Michael McDonnell Midfielder
6Dean Zambra Midfielder
8Rob Manley 22 Forward 4'
9Aaron Dobbs 20 Forward 42'
11Callum Thompson 7 Midfielder
12Aaron O’Driscoll Defender
16Aodh Dervin Midfielder
21Aaron McNally 19 Defender
30Michael Kelly Goalkeeper
7Dylan Grimes 11 Midfielder
14Aaron Bolger Midfielder
15Aaron McCabe Midfielder
17Matthew O’Brien Midfielder
19Karl Chambers 21 Forward
20Dean Byrne 9 Midfielder
22Joseph Manley 8 Defender
25Conor Davis Forward

Shamrock Rovers

1Alan Mannus Goalkeeper
2Sean Gannon Defender
3Sean Hoare Defender
4Roberto Lopes Defender
5Lee Grace Defender
9Aaron Greene 19 Forward
10Graham Burke Forward 46'
14Daniel Mandriou Midfielder
15Liam Scales Defender
16Gary O’Neill 26 Midfielder
20Rory Gaffney Forward 90'
25Leon Pohls Goalkeeper
19Dean Williams 9 Forward
21Adam Wells Defender
22Darragh Nugent Midfielder
24Max Murphy Midfielder
26Chris McCann 16 Midfielder
27Dean McMenamy Midfielder
32Cole Omorehiomnan Defender
38Aidomo Emakhu Midfielder

Past Meetings

(Series 5)
2 - 1
Premier Division
Tallaght Stadium

Shamrock Rovers v Longford Town

9 - 1
eLOI Group C
Online Event

Shamrock Rovers v Longford Town

(Series 10)
1 - 2
First Division
Tallaght Stadium

Shamrock Rovers v Longford Town

(Series 1)
2 - 0
First Division
Bishopsgate, Longford

Longford Town v Shamrock Rovers


Bishopsgate, Longford
City Calling Stadium, L50021, Mullolagher, Cloondara ED, Longford Municipal District, County Longford, Leinster, Ireland

A master's journalism student at Birmingham City University. Jon Parkin has done interviews with numerous people from across the English football pyramid. He has also written for website My Old Man Said for over a year and a half.