Galway Utd 1-2 Longford Town

Don Cowan struck a goal deep into stoppage time as Longford Town claimed the SSE Airtricity League spoils at Eamonn Deacy Park.

A lively first half saw Galway take the lead in the sixth minute courtesy of Jake Keegan's smooth opportunism, but Tommy Dunne's side had Stephen Walsh sent off for a last-ditch foul on Gary Shaw on 26 minutes.

Longford levelled in the 45th minute as Shaw climbed highest in the area to head the visitors back on terms.

However, Cowan pounced in the closing stages before Galway's Sam Oji and Longford’s Pat Flynn were red-carded following the goal.

With David O'Leary providing the midfield subtlety, Galway enjoyed a productive opening quarter hitting the front in the sixth minute.

Keegan's smart flick released Jason Molloy, who forced a decent reaction save from Longford Town custodian Paul Hunt.

New York-native Keegan reacted smartly to steer Galway ahead with an assured finish as Galway's bright start was rewarded.

In the 13th minute Longford were fortunate to survive another scare when Keegan and Gary Shanahan combined, but Enda Curran's crisp shot was deflected out for a corner.

But Galway were rocked in the 25th minute when Stephen Rice's delivery caused panic and Walsh was sent off for a foul on Shaw.

That meant Galway were forced to defend deep as Longford, with Rice instrumental, went close in the 36th minute.

Lorcan Shannon's left-wing cross spilled kindly for Don Cowan, who drilled wide, but Longford continued to probe.

On the stroke of half-time Conor Powell's inviting cross was met by a firm Shaw header as parity was restored.

After the restart Longford probed with a 47th-minute Powell centre locating David O'Sullivan, who had a header diverted out for a corner.

Galway, though, were diligent with right-back Alex Byrne and centre-half Oji defiant as the visitors became increasingly frustrated.

Kevin O'Connor rifled a 77th-minute effort wide for Longford as a hard working Galway outfit continued to be resilient, but Cowan slammed the winner through a cluster of bodies.

There was further drama as referee Adriano Reale controversially red carded Oji and Flynn as Longford eked out a vital victory.

Galway United: Conor Winn; Alex Byrne, Sam Oji, Stephen Walsh, Colm Horgan; Gary Shanahan, Andy O’Connell, David O’Leary, Jason Molloy (Kevin Garcia, 66); Jake Keegan (Padraic Cunningham, 66), Enda Curran (Paul Sinnott, 84).

Subs not used: Cormac Raftery, Connor Gleeson, Antaine O’Laoi, Conor Barry.

Longford Town: Paul Hunt; Pat Sullivan, Pat Flynn, Willie Tyrell (Mark Salmon, 80), Conor Powell; Don Cowan (Rhys Gorman, 90), Stephen Rice, Kevin O’Connor, Lorcan Shannon (Martin Deady, 55); David O’Sullivan, Gary Shaw.

Subs not used: Tom Morris, Kalem Simon, Dylan McKeever, Paul Skinner.

Referee: Adriano Reale (Kildare).