Waterford United picked up a vital point in Flancare Park as Longford Town’s season hangs by a thread.
The home side produced some heroic performances to drag themselves back into contention to avoid relegation. However, a recent slip in form has seen them pick up only a point in their last four games.
This was a must-win game for both sides, but particularly for the home side who languish five points adrift at the foot of the league with only four games remaining.
Waterford took the lead with their first real attack. Robbie Hedderman’s throw-in was misdirected by Longford’s Ian Ryan into the path of Willie John Kiely and the striker made the most of his chance, firing past Shay Kelly from close range.
The Blues should have extended their lead within a minute but a fine build-up was spoiled when Ray Scully blasted over from inside the area.
Longford also had their moments in an exciting opening half. They should have been level after 18 minutes when a long-range lob from Dave Mooney came back off the underside of Dean Delaney’s crossbar.
Another couple of chances came Longford’s way in the following minutes. However, both Mooney and Dessie Baker failed to make the most of decent opportunities. Mooney did go close in the 49th minute, his deft flick drifting narrowly wide.
Soon after the striker was presented with a great chance following a messed Delaney clearance. However, the keeper got back in time to avert the danger.
Vinny Sullivan could have wrapped up this contest in the 70th minute. The quick-thinking striker conjured up a one-on-one opportunity with keeper Kelly but the netminder produced a sublime save to keep Longford in it.
Mooney had a chance to level matters in the 86th minute, but after being played in by Gary Deegan the striker pulled his effort badly wide.
However, Longford refused to give in and grabbed a deserved equaliser in stoppage time when a loose clearance fell to Pat Sullivan and the defender fired home an exquisite equaliser.
Longford Town: Kelly; Sullivan, Ryan, Prunty, Kelly; Martin, Deegan, James (Doyle 87), Rutherford (Duffy 41); Mooney, Baker.
Waterford Utd: Delaney; Flynn, Breen, Hayes (Browne 89), Hedderman; Scully, Warren, McCarthy, Kearney (Mulcahy h-t); Sullivan (Grincell 89), Kiely.
Referee: P. Whelan (Dublin).