Longford had to come from behind to salvage a point but they did so with such vigour and style that Cork were close to losing their proud unbeaten home record in the competition.
Twice in the closing fifteen minutes Longford were close to a winning goal: first when Alan Kirby ripped a shot across the face of the goal and narrowly wide and again when it took three defenders to arrest Eric Levine as he surged into the penalty area.
Longford beat Cork earlier in the season at Flancare Park and clearly that victory left a legacy - Longford were not prepared to play second best. They recovered after a first half when Cork were bright and aggressive to control much of the second half.
Cork suffered because they failed to capitalise fully on their early dominance. They were encouraged by a goal after just six minutes when Avery John was penalised for pulling down Colin P. O’Brien. John O’Flynn claimed his 16th goal of the season from the penalty spot.
O’Flynn should have had a second just before half-time when he shot against an upright and then hurriedly knocked the rebound over with goalkeeper Stephen O’Brien struggling, but Cork created relatively few scoring opportunities. Woods was embroiled in a tough contest with Alan Murphy and while the Longford defender occasionally drew the referee’s disapproval, his resilience served Longford well. And when he was by-passed, as in the 50th minute, goalkeeper Stephen O’Brien was there to deny the Cork winger.
By then Longford had left their early reticence well behind and their growing competitiveness meant their equalising goal, in the 60th minute, came as no surprise. Cork had substantial claims for a second penalty denied in the first half when O’Flynn was pushed aside by Ferguson but dissatisfaction with the referee could not compensate for their own shortcomings.
Longford’s substitutions gave them an extra edge with Paddy Mulvihill a powerful force at centre-forward and Seamus Crowe using the ball cleverly on the left of midfield. They deserved their draw and were close to a win.
CORK CITY (4-4-2): Devine; O’Halloran, Daly, Murray, Horgan; O’Callaghan (C. T. O’Brien 72), Bennett, Reynolds, Woods; C. O’Brien, O’Flynn.
LONGFORD TOWN (4-4-2): O’Brien; Murphy, Ferguson, John, Dillon; Sheridan, Kirby, Perth (Crowe 73), Byrne; Francis (Mulvihill 57), Levine.
Referee: Mr. I. Stokes (Dublin).