Preview by Tony Ghee
Longford Town hope to spring a huge cup upset on Saturday night when they host Cup holders and runaway Premier League leaders Cork City at the City Calling Stadium in the Irish Daily Mail FAI Cup Quarter-Finals.
The Town are managed by former Cork City star Neale Fenn who made over 80 league appearances for the Leesiders between 2004 and 2006 scoring 27 league goals. Fenn won a Premier Division title with Cork in 2005 and an FAI Cup runners-up medal the same season after their surprise loss to Drogheda United in the Final.
Since he took over at the helm of Longford Town back in June after the departure of Alan Mathews, Fenn has guided the Midlanders to fourth place in the First Division and enroute to Saturday’s Last eight tie, the ‘Red & Black’ have taken the scalps of Premier Division Sligo Rovers after extra-time and Leinster Senior League side Bangor Celtic. The Town’s last league outing produced a 2-0 victory away to Cabinteely.
Cork are 14 points clear at the top of the Premier Division but have struggled in the league since the departures of Seanie Maguire and Kevin O’Connor, losing to Bohs, Sligo Rovers, and last time out to Shamrock Rovers. However, the rebels have progressed to the the last eight with an impressive 7-0 thrashing of Athlone Town in the last sixteen and a one goal away victory over Bray in the first round.
The City Calling Stadium outfit will be hoping to avenge last season’s 4-1 home cup defeat to Cork on Saturday night, but memories of Danny O’Connor’s stunning winner for De Town in the home victory over a Damien Richardson managed Cork in their 2006 FAI Cup clash provides the home fans with hope of a cup upset. The sides also met in the 2007 FAI Cup Final at the RDS which resulted in a Denis Behan headed goal winning the FAI Cup for Cork.
Longford will be missing Kevin O’Connor, Paul Skinner and Alan Kehoe who are all out injured for the big game. The game kicks-off at 7.30pm on Saturday night with next Tuesday night at Turners Cross the replay date if required.