Fri Jul 5th 2013
It is a game that needs little introduction on Saturday night as league leaders Longford Town face off against third placed promotion rivals Waterford United. With a number of new faces in the United ranks their supporters travel to the Midlands confident of a result but with a victory more important than ever for the home side our reporter Kieran Burke (@burko77_) is predicting yet another thrilling encounter between these great old rivals:
Long time rivals Longford Town and Waterford United clash at City Calling Stadium on Saturday night in what is a potentially season defining game for both sides.
The start to the season for both of these clubs couldn't have been any more opposite as Waterford United failed to get out of the starting blocks while Longford Town raced into a clear advantage at the top of the table.
However, in recent weeks “De Town’s” form has slumped resulting in the lead at the submit being cut down to four points while United have had a revival under interim manager David Breen which has saw them overtake the likes of Wexford Youths, Finn Harps and Mervue United to sit just six points behind the league leaders.
The “Blues” were given an added boost ahead of this weekend’s game during the week when they announced the capture of Cobh Ramblers star striker Conor Meade. The twenty-eight-year-old striker sits second in the First Division scoring charts a mere two goals behind Longford’s very own David O’Sullivan. The good news didn’t stop there for the Waterford faithful with the addition of St.Pat’s winger Marco Chindea also announced during the week to give Breen real options of the bench if required on Saturday evening.
As for the hosts, Longford are without a win since the defeat Wexford Youths 3-1 at home two games prior to the mid-season break as defeat to Athlone in the midlands derby was followed up by a demoralising draw away to Sathill Devon last Friday in the Drom.
The loss of Captain Mark Salmon has left a clear void in the Midlanders midfield as manager Tony Cousins will have to find a way to address this if his side are to recover and find their feet again at the top.
At the back “De Town” have been hit badly by suspensions with Willo McDonagh and Corie Treacy both unavailable tonight but the performances of Glenn O’Connor and Willie Tyrell in particular against Salthill should reassure Town fans.
Longford Town FC is yet to win a game this season in which David O’Sullivan has not scored in so once again hopes will be pinned on the number fifteens shoulders having failed to register in the last two outings. Tony Cousins will hope that some of the burden on O'Sillivan's shoulders could be relieved with the addition of Dean Ebbe who joins from Shamrock Rovers and offers options along the front line.
In terms of the head to head record this season Longford Town hold the slender advantage of one win from two games with the other game feeling like a win for “De Town” as O’Sullivan netted a late equalizer at the RSC to rip away a much needed victory from former “Blues” boss Paul O’Brien.
The first half of the opening meeting between Town and Waterford back in March was an absolute thriller with no less than three goals scored in the opening forty-five minutes as the home side came back from an early Paudie Quinn wonder goal to clinch victory in front of a wonderfully atmospheric crowd at City Calling Stadium and with a large Waterford contingent expected to travel for round three between the two clubs we could be in for another fantastic game as old foes Longford Town and Waterford United once again slog it out at the top.
ENJOY THE GAME