MATCH PREVIEW BY ANDREW DEMPSEY
Longford Town know that is certainly win or bust when they make the trip west to face playoff chasing Galway United at Éamonn Deacy Park on Friday evening. Kick-Off is at 7.45pm at the Dyke Road venue.
After picking up a morale boosting back-to-back wins against near neighbours Athlone Town and Sligo Rovers, Neale Fenn’s Red and Black Army have found a little bit of momentum since the defeat at Tolka Park with four goals and two clean sheets.
Knowing full well that a win can all but end Galway’s promotion hopes, De Town can really catapult themselves back into contention with a big win at Éamonn Deacy Park. Currently in 5th, just four points off Drogheda United and Shelbourne, a win could see Longford just go one point behind one of those playoff chasing sides.
Last time we met Galway United in a league game, Neale Fenn masterminded an epic three-two success over the then Shane Keegan managed Tribesmen with ten-men at the City Calling Stadium after Darren Meenan’s dismissal.
Local star Aodh Dervin set the Red and Black of the Midlands on their way with a superb strike from distance as Sam Verdon and Karl Chambers sealed the three points despite being a man down.
Former Town defender Stephen Walsh scored a late consolation goal for Galway, but it was to no avail as we held firm to secure a valuable three points on a fantastic weekend for the club which also saw a 4-2 win away to Finn Harps in Ballybofey.
During our last visit to Galway, the Tribesmen came away from the game with a slightly fortuitous point as Longford were unable to find the back of Tadgh Ryan’s net on frustrating night in the West while Aodh Dervin announced his arrival on the scene with a typically brilliant display in the middle of the park.
Currently, Galway have three former Town players on their books as Ryan Connolly, Stephen Walsh and Sean Russell have all enjoyed prior stints at the City Calling Stadium.
Connolly played under Tony Cousins way back in 2013 while Sean Russell, son of former Bray manager Martin Russell, played for De Town in 2014 as Walsh had a brief stint in the Red and Black during the 2017 season.
On the other hand, no current Longford Town player has played for Galway in a competitive outing. Our most recent ex Galway players were Enda Curran and Stephen Walsh who both lined out for the club in 2017.
In terms of team news for Friday night’s game, Jamie Doyle returns to the fold following suspension while Dean Byrne must sit out the game with a long-term injury. Also, Sam Verdon won’t feature after his injury in Sligo last week.
Barring any late change to the official’s overseeing the game, David Keeler will be the man in the middle while he will be assisted by Eoin Harte and Ricky Crean. Jason Mannix has been handed the role of the 4th official.