Dublin had to overcome a dogged Longford side and some nervy first half moments before Ian Robertson finally secured their 1-17 to 0-11 Bank of Ireland SFC third round qualifier win in Portlaoise, with a 46th minute goal.

Robertson returned to action following a lengthy period on the sidelines due to a calf injury, and it was he would finally got the Dublin goal, flicking home a Senan Connell delivery past the outstretched arms of Longford's Damien Sheridan.

The Longford net minder did well to put Tomas Quinn's first half penalty behind for a '45, and Tommy Lyons' men looked far from the complete article at 0-08 to 0-07 in front at the interval.

Alan Brogan had also missed a glorious goal chance on 12 minutes, having been sent through by Darren Magee, but at least the metropolitans were on level terms during that period with Quinn and Ciaran Whelan pointing against Trevor Smullen and Padraig Davis scores.

By the time of Brogan's miss, Quinn had stroked over another two but the Dubs lead was short lived as a right wing David Barden point and a Davis free soon levelled things up.

That trend continued and it was not until after Brogan had levelled for the fourth time on 26 minutes that there appeared to be a gap emerging. Just a minute later, Whelan was brought down when through on goal, earning his side their penalty but the chance went begging.

Brogan and Jason Sherlock, his shot crashing off the crossbar, opened up a two-point gap before Davis' fourth point for Longford left just one between them at the break.

The midfield tandem of Darren Homan and Darren Magee improved their understanding after the restart, and Brogan and Whelans scores kept up their scoring rate with Davis pointing for the fifth and sixth time.

Then came the goal which gave the men in blue some breathing space and seemingly the confidence to start playing like they can. Five straight points were hit up to the 62nd minute, from Sherlock, Whelan, Brogan, Quinn and substitute Dessie Farrell.

David Barden then notched Longford's first score in over twenty minutes, but the game was dead for them at 0-10 to 1-15 down.

Whilst Davis completed his tally with a fifth free, a rampaging seventeenth for Dublin from substitute Shane Ryan had already sent their supporters happily on their way home.

Filed by Rob Wright