A controlled and comfortable performance sees De Town get back to winning ways in the last El Classico of the 2018 season. An Athlone own goal and goals from Aodh Dervin and Jamie Hollywood sees Longford get all 3 points.
Karl Chambers receives his Player of the Month award for July from Ray Grehan, LTFC Supporters’ Club
Some of the action from tonight’s 3-0 home win against Athlone Town.[gallery link="file" ids="18601,18602,18603,18604,18605,18606,18607,18608,18609,18610"]
The 3 goals which bagged all three points against Athlone tonight.
Pics from the Family Fun Day where the young and not so young entered into the spirit of the fun event.
Fair play to the players who make time for their young supporters after each home game. As you can see some of them are awestruck at meeting their heroes up close and personal.
Match Preview by Kieran Burke (@KieranBTS)
Rarely in the last few seasons has a Midlands derby between Longford Town and their Athlone rivals meant so much, but on Saturday night the stakes couldn’t be higher as only a win will keep Longford’s promotion hopes alive, following a disappointing recent run of form.
While last weekends 6-1 defeat away to promotion rivals Shelbourne was littered with controversial decisions and missed chances for ‘’De Town’’, Longford boss Neale Fenn will know results are the only thing that matter at this stage of the season and hard luck stories will he of no use at the City Calling Stadium on Saturday night.
With the clubs Family Fun Day running from 5.00pm, it is hoped there will be a swell in attendance for this crucial local derby as Longford look to cut the gap on the play-off places to just a single point (other results depending).
With a high profile FAI Cup tie away to Sligo Rovers next week, followed by another trip west to face Galway United in a potential promotion play-off six pointer, Fenn and his players are sure to be aware of the importance of building some much needed momentum with a win over the First Divisions bottom side on Saturday night.
In terms of team news, recently signed striker, Jamie Doyle will sit out the game known in these parts as the Midlands ‘’El Clasico’’ having seen red at his former club last Friday, while fellow front man Dean Byrne remains out through injury.[caption id="attachment_17633" align="aligncenter" width="5472"] Action from Town’s previous away encounter at Athlone Town Stadium.[/caption]
While there is no team news as of yet available for the visitors, Athlone Town have put in some much improved performances against some of the divisions top sides in recent weeks. Having been extremely unlucky not to claim a point against second placed Drogheda United a fortnight ago, the Blue and Black side of the Midlands divide ran UCD close last weekend, only losing out through a Gary O’Neill penalty for the league leaders.
Longford Town fans will of course need no reminder of the last meeting with Athlone Town as former Longford man, Aaron Brilly scored for the hosts, following a fine set-piece move, to earn his side a share of the spoils in what was seen as a huge slip up in the promotion race by Neale Fenn’s charges. That man Brilly is sure to be out to prove a point to his former employers once more and given his experience at this level with Cabinteely and Athlone Town, his threat must be taken seriously.
Kick-off at the City Calling Stadium on Saturday night is 7.30pm and referee Anthony Buttimer will take charge of this often fiery fixture.
This weeks LTFC Matchday Programme ‘Talk of The Town’ is a Family Fun Day Special and includes:
- A message from Manager Neale Fenn
- An in-depth interview with Dean Byrne by Andrew Dempsey
- A trip down memory lane with Martin Stapleton
- A message from Media Manager James Donnelly
- A ‘Kids Corner’ with pictures to colour in and a LTFC Word Search
- And much, much more!
Pick yours up on Saturday for only €3!
Town’s currently injured forward, Dean Byrne talked about the fantastic support given week-in week-out by the fans in this week’s Talk Of The Town matchday programme, on sale at the Athlone Town game on Saturday!
Match Report by Tony Ghee
Longford Town had to settle for a share of the spoils at the Athlone Town Stadium in the second El Classico of the season between the two Midlands rivals as the ‘Red & Black’ came from behind to snatch a draw but ended the contest with ten players as Mulhall was sent-off late on. It was a disappointing result for Neale Fenn’s charges as Athlone secured only their second point of the season and a Longford win was expected.
A repeat of the earlier five-one victory for Longford was always going to be highly unlikely as the Athlone defence have tightened up at the back since Terry Butler took over the helm and that was certainly the case in this match.
The first twenty minutes of the contest failed to produce any chances worthy of the name. The visitors played the better football but quality final balls were often the missing link for Longford as the Athlone keeper Lawless was not even tested once. At the other end, the Town defence were rarely tested as they comfortably dealt with the home side’s long ball game.
The best opportunity in that poor opening twenty minute period fell to the home side, as Hamzat muscled Dervin off the ball and raced in on goal from the right, but as he was about to pull the trigger, Noack-Hofmann crucially made a goal saving tackle.
The game burst into life on twenty-one minutes when Athlone took the lead with a brilliantly worked goal. Athlone won a free-kick and Grogan shaped to play the ball over the Town wall, but then suddenly played a clever low ball towards the right side of the box into the path of Brilly whose intelligent diagonal run from the right wing caught the Longford defence napping, and the former Longford player kept his composure to drill a low diagonal Shot into the bottom left corner of the Longford net.
The visitors responded with three opportunities in the remainder of the first half. In the twenty-fifth minute, a perfectly weighted pass from Dervin set-up McGlade but his shot was straight at Athlone keeper Lawless.
On thirty-four minutes, Galvin was thwarted by home keeper Lawless who raced off his line to make a fine save from the Longford winger’s sixteen yard effort, however, Galvin retrieved the ball and his chipped cross picked out striker Byrne, but Byrne’s shot came back off the Athlone post.
Four minutes before the interval, Mulhall headed an Elworthy cross wide of the Athlone goal, but Brilly’s goal gave Athlone a one-nil interval lead.
Athlone almost scored a second goal within two minutes of the resumption as Cabraley set-up striker Stokes only for Longford keeper Brady to produce a sharp save.
Longford’s first opportunity of the second-half arrived in the fifty-eighth minute. Elworthy and O’Reilly combined to snuff out an Athlone attack and O’Reilly launched a long clearance out of defence that Mulhall headed on into the path of Verdon, he shrugged off one Athlone defender but his shot was saved by Lawless.
Longford equalised just after the hour mark. McGlade’s corner was headed on by Verdon to O’Reilly on the right-edge of the Athlone six-yard box and his header back across goal was finished by Mulhall from virtually on the line.[caption id="attachment_17164" align="aligncenter" width="354"] Chris Mulhall, who equalised for De Town and also received a red card.[/caption]
A spectacular overhead kick from Galvin on sixty-six minutes whistled narrowly over the Athlone bar and although Longford pressed for the winner, they could not find a winner.
The Town had striker Mulhall dismissed in the eighty-seventh minute for an off the ball incident after Mulhall and Athlone substitute Gaffey became entangled, although the collision seemed accidental.
Next up for Longford Town is a home game against Galway next Friday night at the City Calling Stadium.
Athlone Town: Lawless, Raftery, Smith, Nyakambili, Fletcher, Hamzat, O’Leary, Grogan, Brilly, Cabraley, Stokes.
Substitute: Kavanagh for Stokes (63 minutes), Gaffey for Hamzat (70 minutes), McCullough for Cabraley (81 minutes).
Longford Town: Brady, Elworthy, McDonnell, O’Reilly, Noack-Hofmann, Galvin, Verdon, Dervin, McGlade, Mulhall, Byrne.
Substitutes: Zambra for Byrne (55 minutes), Ryan for Dervin (81 minutes), Meenan for Hofmann (89 minutes).
Referee: Garvan Taggert.