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Match Report: Sligo Rovers 0-1 Longford Town (FAI Cup 1st Rnd)

Sun Aug 12th 2018

Match Report by James Donnelly

Irish Daily Mail FAI Cup First Round

Sligo Rovers FC 0-1 Longford Town FC

11/08/18, The Showgrounds, 7.45pm

Longford Town FC dumped Sligo Rovers out of the FAI Cup in the first round for the second successive year on Friday night as Jamie Hollywoods 65th minute goal was enough to seal the victory for the Red and Black at the Showgrounds.

On a wet and windy night, De Town got some bad news before the whistle was even blown, Shane Elworthy picking up a knock and having to be replaced in the starting eleven by Tristan Noack-Hofmann.

Longford had the opening chance of the game straight from tip-off. Gaining posession, Aodh Dervin (who had a terrific game in midfield) found Dylan McGlade who turned his man and shot from inside, forcing the early save from Beeney in the Sligo goal.

Sligo could have opened the scoring only moments later when David Cawley found himself free in the box but his speculative shot from the right side took a deflection and bounced narrowly wide of the Longford goal.

Town keeper Michael Kelly was yellow carded in the 12th minute after mistakenly picking the ball up outside his own box. The resulting free came to nothing in the end but he will want to forget about that one!

Neale Fenn was forced to make another unplanned early change when Sam Verdon had to go off with what looked like a nasty ankle injury. The challenge on Verdon warranted a yellow card to be produced and the recently returned Peter Hopkins came on in place. Verdon had been performing well up to that point, winning the ball in the air to lay if off to McGlade and Meenan on the wings. Longford will hope that the injury isn’t as serious as it looked as Verdon has played a key role in the hunt for promotion this season.

Rovers had a glorious opportunity to go 1-0 up on 32 minutes. A corner from McCabe was met in the air by Callan-McFadden but his header hit the cross bar and was cleared away from danger. A real let off for Longford but they can thank Michael Kelly who seemed to have gotten the slightest of touches to tip it on to the cross bar. One of many saves he would have to make throughout the night.

While Sligo pushed forward, Longford didn’t give them too much time on the ball and applied pressure. Peter Hopkins went close on 40 minutes when the ball broke on the halfway line to send him clear but he never fully connected with the ball and his shot drifted wide of Beeney’s post.

[caption id="attachment_18776" align="aligncenter" width="740"] Karl Chambers in action during last years FAI Cup win over Sligo Rovers at the City Calling Stadium.[/caption]

Longford had a shout for a penalty on 43 minutes, Jamie Hollywood on the end of a challenge just on the edge of the box. Town fans called for a peno but on inspection of the replay, it was evidently a yard or so outside the area. The resulting free from Daniel O’Reilly was straight into the hands of Beeney.

Going in 0-0 at half time, many Longford supporters were optimistic that the team could pull off another win, following on from last seasons cup win over Sligo at the City Calling Stadium.

Sligo started the second half with a purpose and could have taken the lead only a few minutes in when Mikey Drennan got free down the left hand side before turning in past Karl Chambers but his low flying shot rattled the bottom of the far post and bounced straight back into Kellys hands.

Dylan McGlade, who many were calling man of the match after another skillful display, had the opportunity to put Longford in the driving seat on 62 minutes. His long range effort stinging the hands of Beeney in goal who put it out for a corner.

Town supporters didn’t have to wait long for a goal to come though. Only 3 minutes later, McGlade once again produced a moment of magic when he rounded the Sligo defender on the touch line before playing it back to Jamie Hollywood who cooly slotted it into the far corner. Beeney should have done better but full credit to Longford, they kept up the pressure and it paid off.

From then on, Rovers began to mount attack after attack. Michael Kelly, who could have gotten a look in for man of the match also, was forced to save on a number of occasions for Longford and kept the side in it. Up the other end, McGlade went close again, shooting from the right side, his curled shot was palmed away by Beeney for a corner.

While Sligo tried and tried, Longford’s defence held firm. The Bit O’Red couldn’t break down the back 4 and it became evident when they resorted to long balls straight up the top in the last 10 minutes. Mikey Drennan had one last chance for Sligo after he raced through on goal but Michael Kelly was there again, this time denying him with a brilliant save using his foot.

Overall, a great night for Neale Fenn and Co, who will need all the positivity and momentum they can get going into Friday night’s game away against Galway United in the run in for a promotion playoff spot.

Sligo Rovers: Beeney, Twardek, Callan-McFadden, Mahon, McClean, Donelon, Cawley, McCabe (c), Lynch, Cretaro, Drennan

Subs: McGinty, Sharkey, Keaney (replaced Mahon), Wixted, McAleer (replaced Cretaro), Kerrigan, Morrison.

Longford Town: Kelly, Noack-Hofmann, O’Reilly, McDonnell, Chambers, Meenan, Zambra (c), Hollywood, Dervin, McGlade, Verdon.

Subs: Kelly, Hopkins (replaced Verdon), Ryan, O’Neill, O’Connor, Dillon, Temolo.

MATCH PREVIEW: Sligo Rovers v Longford Town (FAI Cup First Round)

Sat Aug 11th 2018

Match Preview by James Donnelly

Irish Daily Mail FAI Cup First Round
Sligo Rovers FC v Longford Town FC

Saturday 11th August 2018

The Showgrounds • 7.45PM

Sligo Rovers and Longford Town FC face off tonight in the first round of the FAI Cup. In a repeat of last years first round clash, Gerard Lyttle’s side will be hoping to gain revenge after they were sent crashing out of the tournament after extra time at the City Calling Stadium last time out.

Longford won 4-2 after extra time thanks to goals from Karl Chambers, Sam Verdon, Kealan Dillon and Peter Hopkins. Dillon has since moved on to pastures new but Chambers, Verdon and Hopkins are all available for selection.

Looking at both clubs current form, Sligo come into tonight’s game off the back of a 1-0 loss at home to Derry in the EA Sports Cup Semi-Final. Only a few days previously, they had made the trip up to the Brandywell for a league fixture and left with all 3 points. Sitting third from bottom in the Premier Division, the West Coast side have had struggled at times. Much like ourselves in the league, they have shown they can be a good footballing side at times but they have also shown they are vulnerable in areas. With that being said, Sligo boss Gerard Lyttle knows that they can’t underestimate Longford. Speaking to Sligo Rovers official website, he commented: “Longford turned us over last year and we know they are a good side. Neale has them playing a good brand of football, out from the back, and they’re up there challenging for the play-off spots. We know the dangers and I don’t think complacency will be an issue for us. I do feel we’re stronger this year and that’s no disrespect to any players here before. However, it’s up to us to go out and put the performance in. I think if we keep playing like we have been that we can win games and that’s the job for the lads on Saturday.”

[caption id="attachment_18759" align="aligncenter" width="645"] Sam Verdon celebrates scoring his goal along with Karl Chambers during last year’s Irish Daily Mail FAI Cup First Round win over Sligo Rovers at the City Calling Stadium last year.[/caption]

Sligo Rovers and Longford Town FC face off tonight in the first round of the FAI Cup. In a repeat of last years first round clash, Gerard Lyttle’s side will be hoping to gain revenge after they were sent crashing out of the tournament after extra time at the City Calling Stadium last time out.

Longford won 4-2 after extra time thanks to goals from Karl Chambers, Sam Verdon, Kealan Dillon and Peter Hopkins. Dillon has since moved on to pastures new but Chambers, Verdon and Hopkins are all available for selection.

Looking at both clubs current form, Sligo come into tonight’s game off the back of a 1-0 loss at home to Derry in the EA Sports Cup Semi-Final. Only a few days previously, they had made the trip up to the Brandywell for a league fixture and left with all 3 points. Sitting third from bottom in the Premier Division, the West Coast side have had struggled at times. Much like ourselves in the league, they have shown they can be a good footballing side at times but they have also shown they are vulnerable in areas. With that being said, Sligo boss Gerard Lyttle knows that they can’t underestimate Longford. Speaking to Sligo Rovers official website, he commented: “Longford turned us over last year and we know they are a good side. Neale has them playing a good brand of football, out from the back, and they’re up there challenging for the play-off spots. We know the dangers and I don’t think complacency will be an issue for us. I do feel we’re stronger this year and that’s no disrespect to any players here before. However, it’s up to us to go out and put the performance in. I think if we keep playing like we have been that we can win games and that’s the job for the lads on Saturday.”

Longford Town come into tonight’s game off the back of a comfortable 2-0 win over Athlone Town at the City Calling Stadium last week. While that game went off without a hitch, De Town’s last few weeks have been anything but easy. Losing 4 out of 6 in the month of July, Neale Fenn’s side have struggled to find consistent form in the second half of the season. While we are still very much in the mix for a promotion playoff spot, Longford will need to find the form they showed in beating league leaders UCD 5-1 earlier in the season. Speaking briefly to LTFC.ie, Neale Fenn said he feels Longford can win the game and won’t fear Sligo. Having beaten the home side last year and it being the cup, anything can happen.

In terms of team news for Longford, Jamie Doyle is suspended for the game while Dean Byrne is still on the injury list.

For Sligo, Gary Boylan is the only loss as he is still recovering from a long-term cruciate ligament injury.

Kick off at the Showgrounds tonight is 7.45pm.

Safe travels to all Longford supporters making the trip to Sligo.

#CmonDeTown!

Match Preview: Finn Harps v Longford Town FC (13/07/18)

Thu Jul 12th 2018

SSE Airtricity League First Division
Finn Harps v Longford Town FC
Friday 13th July 2018
Finn Park | 8pm

Preview by James Donnelly

With Finn Harps just two points ahead of Longford Town with 32, Neale Fenn’s men have a real chance of leap-frogging over the Donegal side and into fourth place on Friday night, should they perform at the high level we have seen them play at this season.

Last week, Longford lost out at home to a resilient and deserving Cobh Ramblers team. Their defensive tactics and counter attacking football in the last quarter of the game proved key as the Cork men grabbed a winner five minutes from the end after De Town had equalized through Sam Verdon. Sam, after picking up 5 yellow cards, is now suspended for Friday night’s clash with Ollie Horgans side.

Harps had a great win last week away to Drogheda United. In what was Drogs first home defeat of the season, John O’Flynn popped up in the 89th minute to gain all 3 points for the visitors.

Last time Longford travelled up to face the Harps was back at the start of June. Town dominated Harps from the get go and were leading 2-0 at half time before Harps showed great character in getting two quick goals early in the second half to get back on terms. Longford dug deep however and got back ahead only minutes later, Sam Verdon again the goal scorer. Dylan McGlade who had scored one in the first half, killed the game off getting his second and Longford’s fourth to see all three points go to De Town. In the previous encounter at the City Calling Stadium, Longford were very unlucky when Harps grabbed a winner in injury time. A game full of action and incidents, Sam Todd got the all important goal to send Ollie Horgan home happy.

In terms of team news, Longford’s new signings are all available. Jamie Doyle, Dean Dillon, Warren Mitchell, Craig Walsh and new goal keeper Ben Kelly are all in. Alan Kehoe, Peter Hopkins, CIan Byrne and Dean Byrne are all out through injury while Sam Verdon is serving a 1 match suspension.

Finn Harps have signed Jacob Borg and he is available after getting international clearance during the week while Tommy McBride returns from suspension. The two O’Connor’s have left the club. Harps big loss is Paddy McCourt who is out through injury along with Mark Coyle and Adam Duffy.

Match Preview: Wexford FC v Longford Town FC

Fri May 11th 2018

SSE Airtricity League First Division

Wexford FC v Longford Town FC
Friday 11th May 2018
Ferrycarrig Park
Kick off: 8pm

Match Preview by James Donnelly

Longford Town come into tonight’s league game off the back of a 1-0 league win down in Cobh Ramblers. A solitary Sam Verdon goal was enough to see off the Cork men however Cobh did gain their revenge on De Town only 3 days later, knocking us out of the EA Sports Cup on a 2-0 scoreline. Wexford come into the game off the back of an 8-0 hammering at the hands of league leaders UC at home.

Longford currently sit in 6th place on 15 points with Wexford in 9th place on 7 points. Longford have lost only 3 games in the league this season whereas Wexford have lost 8. Talking numbers, De Town have scored 18 and conceded 11 with Wexford scoring 13 and conceding a massive 30 goals.

The first meeting of the two sides this season took place in March at City Calling Stadium, Longford earning a comfortable 3-0 victory courtesy of a brace from Chirs Mulhall and a goal from Dylan McGlade.

Town stiker Chris Mulhall pictured in action during Longford’s 3-0 win over Wexford FC in March. Chris scored two goals during the game.

Longford’s largest win so far this season was a 5-1 win over rivals Athlone with Wexford also getting their biggest win with a 7-0 hammering of the midlands club.

Longford are without the services of Aodh Dervin, Shane O’Connor, Alan Kehoe and Cian Byrne who all remain on the injured list. However, It was great to see Shane Elworhy returning to action last Tuesday, coming on as a sub against Cobh. Peter Hopkins is also nearly at full fitness and should be available for selection along with Jamie Hollywood who missed the Cobh game due to college exams.

Wexford’s top scorer Aaron Dobbs is doubtful. Conor Sutton and Owen Wall are back in contention after recovering from injury and Ross Kenny is available after his recent suspension.

Kick off at Ferrycarrig is at 8pm. Safe travels to all Town fans travelling to the game.

C’mon De Town!

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2018 SSE Airtricity League First Division

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2018 First Division

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