Longford Town forward Jamie Doyle has been quietly biding his time for an opportunity to strike for the Midlands club this season and he did just that in injury time against Wexford FC at the City Calling Stadium on Saturday night. Doyle, who joinedLongford Town forward Jamie Doyle has been quietly biding his time for an opportunity to strike for the Midlands club this season and he did just that in injury time against Wexford FC at the City Calling Stadium on Saturday night. Doyle, who joined Longford from Shelbourne last season, came off the bench to the score the winner for 'De Town' in the 91st minute and take all three points for the home side in what was a must win game for Neale Fenn's team. The former UCD man has struggled to get game time so far this year, with Fenn opting for Aaron Dobbs in the front-man role instead. But with Doyle replacing Dobbs last night and consequently scorinng the deciding goal, he has surely thrown his name in the hat for a starting XI spot for Longford's game against Bray at the Carlisle Grounds next week. Both teams had a few chances at most between them in the first half. Wexford's Jack Doherty was their target man up top and he created a few problems for the Longford defence but failed to hit the target and trouble Lee Steacy in goal. The home side were on target up the other end but Wexford goalkeeper Corey Chambers was in formidable form and kept Longford out on more than one occassion. Mick McDonnell went close from a corner but his powerful header was straight into the hands of Chambers. Longford's top goal-scorer so far, Dean Byrne (six goals), had a glorious opportunity missed on 25 minutes when Sam Verdon's high-cross bounced over the Wexford defence but Byrne's first time shot was straight at Chambers again, much to the relief of manager Brian O'Sullivan and his staff. Chambers was forced to work again on 34 minutes when Longford threatened from yet another corner. Dean Zambra whipped in a mid-height cross that was flicked on by the head of Conor Kenna but Chambers did well to palm it away to safety. Missing the services of Danny Furlong next to him, Jack Doherty had all the work to do on his own. He didn't let that stop him however and almost opened the scoring just before half time when he latched on to a mis-hit clearance by McDonnell but unfortunately for the Tipperary man, he dragged his shot narrowly wide of the post. The second half saw both teams start brightly as they looked for the opening goal of the game. Nika Arevadze had an early shot for Wexford but he didn't fully connect with it and it didn't trouble Lee Steacy in the Longford goal. Wexford's Sean Callan received the only yellow card of the game on 52 minutes when he took down Sam Verdon who had intercepted a wayward pass across the backline and was marching through on goal before being fouled. The resulting free kick forced another great save out of Corey Chambers when Longford Town captain Dean Zambra beautifully curled it towards the right top corner but again, the Wexford netminder was there to the rescue. The introduction of Peter Hopkins and Sean Brennan made a signficent difference for the home side in the second half. Hopkins in particular was lively down the right wing and started a Longford attack that eventually made it's way out left to Dean Byrne who played in Sam Verdon in the box but he blasted his shot over the bar. Wexford had their best chance of the gamer on 64 minutes when substitute John Peare found himself free on the edge of the box but his powerfully struck shot was expertly saved by Lee Steacy who now has 9 clean sheets in total this season. The midland's club began to take control of the game late on and started to bombard the Wexford half with attacks. Ryan Nolan played his part in defence for Wexford, clearing the ball off the line after Aaron Dobbs had flicked it by Chambers after an initial save. Only moments later, Wexford had another goal-line clearance, this time Mick McDonnell's leaning header from another corner was headed away by Lee Costello. It started to look like it could be one of those night's for Longford. With the visitors defending like their lives depended on it, they somehow kept it out again on 79 minutes when after a goalmouth scramble, Aaron Dobbs managed to get a shot away that hit the face of a Wexford man on the line and again, was cleared away. Longford manager Neale Fenn, when speaking after the game said; “I thought with the chances we had, with the ball rococheting around the box that it wasn't going to be our night but thankfully at the death, Jamie pops up and gets the winner.” Indeed he did, coming on in the 81st minute, Doyle went close and nearly made an immediate impact when his glancing header left Chambers stuck in no mans land and the ball struck the post before being cleared. But into injury time, the 'big man' as he's known to Longford fans, managed to find himself unmarked in the box and Dean Zambra played in a beautiful chipped pass that Doyle managed to take a touch from before eventually sliding it past Chambers and into the net and to the eruptions of the City Calling Stadium. Wexford will feel hard done by, and so they should. They defended bravely for large parts of the game and had one or two chances that could have grabbed them a goal and possibly changed the game entirely but Jamie Doyle feels Longford's hard work and determination made them deserved winners in the end. “I'm delighted for the team more than anything, you know we worked hard tonight, I thought we weren't gonna break them down towards the end but thankfully we did and got the goal and for me personally, I needed that.” With Aaron Dobbs not finding the net for the red and black recently, Doyle may now have an opportunity to showcase his skills and possibly get a run of games after the break but the 25 year old is keen to just take things as they come; “I'm disappointed in the amount of game time i've gotten this year you know but look, I'll keep working hard in training and hopefully Neale gives me the opportunity...I've done well for the team tonight and I'll continue to do well whenever i'm given the chance.” With a big game away to Bray next week, Neale Fenn may indeed look to Doyle to lead the troops from up top and try get a result at the Carlisle grounds.
League of Ireland