Midfield stalwart Pete McConnell’s fantastic bottom corner effort on 50 minutes made sure Långholmen claimed their first three pointer of the season in a must-win affair.
Mälarhöjden fielded a strong team that included former Långholmen player Mattias Larsson, who has returned to action after a long spell out injured. Team captain Larsson was given a warm reception by the Långholmen fans who made the trip for this fixture.
Långholmen were missing Ciaran McCormack and Paul Sullivan, this meant Andy McClaren paired up with Stuart Lascelles at the back and Pete McConnell took up a midfield role.
The first real effort of the game came when Billy Harkness played a fine free kick to the head of Colm Kenny, the Irishman steering his header just over the bar.
Minutes later Edwin Bergquist was forced to make a save from Mälarhöjden veteran Jonas Silvfing. The big keeper was back in action shortly after when he got down well to save a ferocious shot from Johan Westling, that was about as close the home team came to scoring in the first forty-five minutes.
Långholmen on the other hand were playing some good football and applied a fair amount of pressure on a very suspect Mälarhöjden defence, with Chris Allen in particular making some great darting runs down the right flank. Allen’s delivery into the box was flawless throughout, in particular a super cross to the back post which was met by O’Sullivan whose effort hit the post.
Two set pieces for Långholmen paid dividends.
First up and a perfectly flighted free kick from Harkness found it’s way to Colm Kenny who outjumped his marker and nodded the ball into the bottom corner of the net.
Mälarhöjden adopted a game plan of sitting off the ball to let Långholmen do the running; it may have worked last week against Assyriska but this time around they had no such luck.
Långholmen however needed a second goal to give them a bit of a comfort zone and the Stripes made it well worth waiting for.
Harkness played a cheeky hard driven corner low to the front post, the ball was knocked out of defence twice before falling to the foot of McConnell who unleashed a screamer of a shot from all of 20 metres, leaving keeper Åkerberg with absolutely no chance. A finer goal will be hard to find this season.
The hosts were then allowed to come back into the game, a pattern we have seen many times this season from Långholmen. But despite repeated attempts to close in on Bergquist’s goal Mälarhäjden were left with no reward as the big keeper pulled off a handful of decent stops to make sure his team finished on top.
A very important win for Långholmen and a much needed one. Collectively they played very well and looked dangerous going forward.