Match Preview by James Donnelly
Extra.ie FAI Cup First Round
Longford Town FC v Athlone Town AFC
Tuesday 13th August 2019 • Kick-off 7.45pm
City Calling Stadium
The final El Clasico of 2019 sees Athlone Town come to the City Calling Stadium tonight, still feeling the effects of their 5-1 league defeat at the hands of the Red a couple of weeks ago, although with it came an extra few days of rest with tonight’s game initially being scheduled for last Saturday night but that was unfortunately postponed due to adverse weather conditions.
With goals coming from Aodh Dervin, Anto Breslin, Sean Boyd, Peter Hopkins and Sam Verdon, De Town easily dispatched of our near neighbours last time out with Athlone pulling back the single consolation goal due to a mistake by Verdon in injury time, a mistake he made up for by scoring Longford’s fifth goal from the penalty spot only moments later.
The turn-around time between games may not be enough for Athlone to change things up and possibly pull off a win tonight, unless Town boss Neale Fenn opts to rest key players ahead of our huge league game at home to Shelbourne on Saturday night. Anything can happen in the cup so don’t expect a similar game to last week in Athlone.
Going on recent form, De Town are clear favourites with our win last week and a good win over Galway United the previous week, whereas Athlone have struggled in the league and had their last win at the start of July over Wexford FC at home.
Speaking to LTFC.ie ahead of tonight’s big cup clash, Manager Neale Fenn stated how important it was to not dwell on last week’s game, as anything can happen in the cup.
“It’s gonna be difficult you know, forget the result last week, we might have caught them on an off day, it’s gonna be a difficult game, Athlone came at us last week for a period and gave us a little bit of trouble.”
Since Longford Town’s foundation, we have met Athlone four times in the FAI Cup, with two of those ties going to replays. Out of the six games in total, De Town have won five games with Athlone winning one. Our biggest FAI Cup win over Athlone came in 2004 in the quarter final replay when we won 3-0 away thanks to goals from Shane Barrett, Alan Murphy and Phillip Keogh.
Team news: Jack Doherty is OK to feature and could be on the bench tonight after recovering from his ankle injury. Other than that, Longford have a full selection to choose from.