Match Preview by Tony Ghee
Longford Town look to bounce back from two successive home league defeats to UCD and Finn Harps when they travel to St. Colman’s Park to face Cobh Ramblers in their next league encounter on Saturday night.
The Town were outplayed in their 2-0 defeat to UCD, but they were the superior team against Harps despite losing the game in the last minute. The Town have recorded two excellent cup wins in the last two weeks, beating Shamrock Rovers away in Tallaght in the EA Sports Cup courtesy of an 89th minute winner from Daniel O’Reilly and then on Tuesday night of this week, Longford defeated UCD 2-1 in the Leinster Senior Cup at the UCD Bowl.
Neale Fenn played a strong side in Tuesday night’s cup win over UCD with Hofmann, Adam O’Connor, Galvin, Chambers, Dean Byrne, Meenan and McGlade and Hollywood all starting while Mulhall, McDonnell, and Zambra all made substitute appearances.
Goalkeeper Jack Brady, midfielder Daniel Ridge, and striker Jackson Ryan were given much needed game time against UCD. Ryan’s Man-of-the-Match display and two goal salvo against UCD might earn him a starting place against Cobh on Saturday night as the ‘Red & Black’ seek a more clinical edge in front of goal.
Last season, Cobh’s impressive young team finished second in the league and won three of the four league encounters against Longford with the Midlanders emerging triumphant in the other clash, however, Cobh have struggled to maintain that momentum this season as they lie eighth in the table with just eight points.
Action from Cobh’s league visit to City Calling Stadium earlier this season.
Longford Town have dropped to sixth after the two recent losses, ten points behind leaders UCD and three points off a play-off spot, so a first away league win of the season is vital to keep the Town in touch with the teams above them.
In the earlier meeting this season, goals from Mulhall and Zambra gave Longford a 2-0 half-time lead, but second-half goals from Andrew Wall and Cian Leonard earned the Cork side a draw.
Saturday’s league game is the first of two games between the sides in just four days as they will meet again in the EA Sports Cup Quarter-Finals on Tuesday night also at St. Coleman’s Park.
On the team news front, Shane Elworthy, Alan Kehoe, Shane O’Connor, and Cian Byrne are still out, and they have been joined on the casualty list by Aodh Dervin who had to be replaced at half-time last Saturday against Harps. Exciting winger Peter Hopkins is available for the game and that is a big boost for the club.