SSE Airtricity League First Division
Athlone Town v Longford Town
Athlone Town Stadium
Friday 23rd June 2017 – Kick-off: 7:45pm
Longford Town travel to neighbours and arch enemy Athlone Town on Friday night for the 3rd “El Clasico” of this years league and 4th in all competitions.
The first midlands derby took place on March 10th, earlier this year. A hat-trick from super striker David O’Sullivan was enough to see off any potential threat from Athlone who had opened their league campaign with a decent win over Waterford, followed by a win over Wexford. The second game was the first round of the EA Sports Cup which saw a 7 goal thriller played out in front of a small Athlone crowd. Davy O’Sullivan once again showing why he’s Longfords record goal scorer, providing anoter hat-trick. Rescuing Longford after going 2-0 down to Athlone in the first half, O’Sullivan equalized after Athlone got their 3rd in the 69th minute and Cody Mulhall got the winner in a 4-3 victory for Longford. The third meeting between the two clubs ended 3-1 to Longord. Davy O’Sullivan went off injured early in the first half so hopes of a hat-trick of hat-tricks were forgotten about. Enda Curran who replaced O’Sullivan had other ideas. 2 goals in the first half and a 3rd in the 90th minute saw the Galway man get his first hat-trick for Longford. Final score of that game at City Calling Stadium was 3-1 Longford.
Things will be a little different for both clubs when they meet on Friday night. Both clubs have said goodbye to their previous managers, Athlone parting ways with Ricardo Monsanto and Longford parting ways with Alan Mathews. Roddy Collins is back at the helm at Athlone while Longford are currently searching for a new man to lead the club. Gary Cronin is caretaker boss and oversaw a great 2-1 over Cobh last week. Jake Kelly scored the winner in injury time from a free kick. No doubt, that would have been a great confidence booster going into Fridays game. Longford will be without talisman David O’Sullivan as he is still working his way back from injury as is Mark Langtry. Enda Curran and Don Cowan both featured last week and will be hoping to see more action on Friday. Cody Mulhall is also back in the squad after injury and centre back Daniel O’Reilly returns from suspension.
Athlone Town come into Fridays game not having won a game since the 5th May. A 6-1 hammering at home v Waterford before the break was followed by a 2-2 draw v Wexford away last week. With Roddy still seeking his first win back in charge, Longford can take nothing for granted, especially in “El Clasico” where anything can happen.
Longford Town: Daniel O’Reilly returns from suspension. Injured: David O’Sullivan, Mark Langtry.
Athlone Town: Not Available.