Goals win games and Paddy Tally knew the timing of Down's two late majors on Saturday night could be massive in terms of their promotion hopes from Division Three.
James Guinness' special strike in 69th minute deflated Longford, the player running 60 metres to collect a pass and smash the ball past Paddy Collum; a goal good enough to win any game. The win leaves Down level with Longford on five points, three behind unbeaten Cork, but very much in the mix for the second promotion place.
Down had led 0-9 to 0-7 at half time, Johnny Flynn with two impressive scores for the home side, and stretched that lead out to four before Liam Connerton got the game's first goal for Longford to bring them right back into it after 52 minutes.
Corey Quinn's 62nd-minute goal looked to have stabilised things again for Down but Longford pegged them back before Guinness' goal sealed a second win in four games for the Mourne men.
“That was an important win and an important two points for us,” admitted Down boss Paddy Tally.
“We know we need to win our home games and our two goals came at good times for us.
“Corey showed great composure for the first one and James' goal really was a super strike. We see him do that a lot in training, he has that ability, his finish was excellent.
“There were a few things that weren't so good but the goals were the star things that put us through.
“It is a young side with a lot of lads in the early stages of their inter-county career but ultimately the aim for us is promotion.”
Scorers for Down – C Quinn 1-2, J Guinness 1-0, B O'Hagan 0-3 (3f), D O'Hare 0-2 (1f), J Flynn, L Kerr 0-2 each, D O'Hagan, K McKernan 0-1 each
Scorers for Longford – D Gallagher 0-5 (3f), L Connerton 1-1, D Mimnagh 0-3 (2f), P Collum 0-2 (2f), P Lynn 0-2, D Reynolds 0-1
Down: R Burns; S Annett, P Murdock, R McAleenan; G Collins, D O'Hagan, B McArdle; J Flynn, D Guinness; B O'Hagan, K McKernan, L Kerr; D O'Hare, A Morgan, C Quinn
Subs: P Fegan for Annett (25), J Guinness for Collins (51), O McCabe for Morgan (56), C Doherty for McKernan (59), N Donnelly for Quinn (70)
Longford: P Collum; P Fox, A Farrell, B O'Farrell; I O'Sullivan, G Rogers, CP Smyth; D Gallagher, K Diffley; M Quinn, D McElligott, D Reynolds; P Lynn, L Connerton, O Kenny
Subs: D Doherty for Lynn (23), D Mimnagh for Smyth (53), J Hagan for Connerton (63)
Referee: Cormac Reilly (Meath)