Fri Jun 7th 2013
With the latest instalment of the Midlands derby between Athlone and Longford just one week away, Tony Cousins men cannot afford to take their eye off the ball on Saturday evening as the “Red and Black” host Shane Keegan’s third placed, Wexford Youths. Here with a review of the game for LTFC.ie is our reporter, Kieran Burke (@burko77_)
League leaders Longford Town welcome third placed Wexford Youths to City Calling Stadium on Saturday night with the chance of extending their advantage at the top to a massive ten points. A come from behind win away to the surprise package of the season to date, Mervue United last time out combined with Finn Harps defeat to the Youths saw Longford open up a seven point lead in the Airtricity League First Division.
The away side come into this crucial league tie in top form with big wins against Waterford United and Finn Harps under their belt in the last three league outings as well as a 3-0 home triumph against bottom side, Salthill Devon. However, unlike Longford, Shane Keegan’s men do not come into this game off the back of advancing to the 3rd round of the FAI Cup after Finn Harps avenged their league defeat against Wexford from a few weeks ago.
It’s been a busy week yet again for Tony Cousins side with last Saturday’s FAI Cup tie against Pike Rovers followed up with a Quarter-final defeat in the Leinster Senior Cup just three days later and with that game going to extra-time at Richmond Park, the Longford troops may not be as fresh as their opponents going into a third game in seven days with the likes of Keith Gillespie, Gary Shaw and Brian McCarthy playing full roles in all three of those ties.
The last meeting between these two sides came back in April when ten man Longford Town took a single goal victory back to the Midlands with who else other than goal machine, David O’Sullivan claiming the winner on the night after Keith Gillespie saw red. Wexford boss, Shane Keegan was extremely disappointed with his team’s performance on the night as the Youths failed to create enough chances to break the Longford back four, with two glaring opportunities going amiss in the first half, while in the second their only chance came in the dying moments but Chris Bennion rose to the challenge to the delight of the vocal away supporters as he denied the home side from claiming an undeserved point. The fact that David O’Sullivan could of had at least a hat-trick says it all about Wexford’s performance on the night with Etana Nkolo, Gary Shaw and O’ Sullivan playing starring roles on the counter-attack.
You have to go all the way back to October 22nd, 2010 to find the last Wexford triumph in this match up when two second half goals from Kevin Rowe and Anthony Wolfe cancelled out Lee Roche’s 16th minute opener for “De Town” at City Calling Stadium.
With the 3rd “El Classico” of the season now just one week away, Longford Town’s players, fans and management team will want to go into the game off the back of another positive result. Tony Cousins men will be doing everything to have as large of a lead as possible going into the mid-season break.
Kick-off at City Calling Stadium on Saturday is 7-30pm and with this fine weather expected to last a little while longer, where else would you want to be?