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MATCH PREVIEW: Longford Town v Shelbourne FC (FAI Cup 2nd Round)

Tue Aug 21st 2018

Match Preview by James Donnelly

Longford Town FC v Shelbourne FC

Irish Daily Mail FAI Cup 2nd Round

Saturday 25th August 2018 / 7.30pm / City Calling Stadium

Longford Town FC welcome Owen Heary’s Shelbourne to the City Calling Stadium on Saturday night for the Second Round of the Irish Daily Mail FAI Cup. In what is sure to be a high tempo game, Neale Fenn and Longford will be seeking revenge after suffering a heavy loss at Tolka Park in the league only a few weeks ago.

Shelbourne took on Athlone at home in the first round. Gifted their first goal through an OG from Athlone’s Nika Kalandarishvili, Shels went on to score 3 more in the second half to go through convincingly. Athlone kept Shels at bay with a limited number of chances in the first half with Greg Moorehouse causing problems for the midlands side. Paddy Kavanagh got Shels’ second on the hour mark when he easily tapped in from close range after being left unmarked in the box. The North Dublin side followed this up with Moorehouse getting on the scoresheet on 84 minutes followed by Lorcan Fitzgerald in injury time to make it 4-0. A comfortable win for Shelbourne who now know they face a tougher challenge on Saturday night when they come to the Strokestown Road venue.

Longford faced a tougher task in the opening round of this cup, travelling to the Showgrounds to take on Sligo Rovers. Having knocked out Sligo in the same round of the competition this time last year, Neale Fenn and co had nothing but confidence going into the game. Maybe it was a bit of naivety on Rovers part but they didn’t take the challenge of Longford seriously and ended up losing 1-0 to De Town. Dylan McGlade and goalkeeper Michael Kelly were the stars of the show but it was Jamie Hollywood’s vital goal that sent Longford through to the next round. Town had to do without the ever present Sam Verdon (who is out for the season now) after he went off injured in the opening 20 minutes and was replaced by Peter Hopkins who performed greatly but then picked up an injury of his own.

The previous meetings between Longford and Shelbourne have been fiery encounters this season and not without controversy or incidents. Back in March, Shels ran out 3-2 winners thanks to hat-trick from former Town star Daivd O’Sullivan. In a game marred with controversy, Shels took the lead early when former Town player Shane O’Connor brought down O’Sullivan in the box who was awarded a penalty to which he easily dispatched past Kelly in goal. Sam Verdon equalised for Longford only a minute later when he capitalized on a loose ball at the edge of the box to drill home our first goal. Shels got their second on 72 minutes when O’Sullivan got between O’Reilly and McDonnell and headed home to put the home side in control again. Town were reduced to 10 men when Dylan McGlade was sent off for an off the ball altercation minutes later. Not to be undone, Sam Verdon got his second of the night and De Town’s equalizer on 87 minutes when in a similar position, Verdon pounced on a loose ball to blast it into the net. The controversy wasn’t over yet. Late into injury time, Shelbourne were awarded a penalty after Peter Hopkins was deemed to have handled the ball in the box. A harsh decision considering he was on the ground already and was trying to manoeuvre out of the way. Sam Verdon was then sent off for a second yellow for dissent and David O’Sullivan rounded off his hat-trick by converting the penalty. A tough result for Longford to take but a game many felt they should have won.

[caption id="attachment_18471" align="aligncenter" width="703"] Sam Verdon celebrates scoring Longford’s equaliser during our previous league game with Shelbourne in July.[/caption]

The league game just under a month ago in July was not without it’s moments also. A game that Shelbourne won comfortably on a flattering 6-1 scoreline, Town had to play with 10 men for the majority of the second half after former Shelbourne player Jamie Doyle was given a straight red for dissent. Trailing 1-0 at half time thanks to a Dave Mulcahy header on the half hour mark, Longford failed to take their chances, Jamie Doyle going close on a number of occasions along with Sam Verdon and Dylan McGlade. The second half saw Longford come out on the attack and it wasn’t long before the equaliser came. Sam Verdon tapping in from close range after a Michael McDonnell header wasn’t dealt with by the Shels defence. Shels took the lead again on 68 minutes when new signing Karl Moore found space on the left side after a cross and easily slipped it past Kelly in goal. Shels got their third goal through David O’Sullivan only 2 minutes later. Daniel O’Reilly was working it out from the back when he chose to turn right and lay it off to the waiting Sam Verdon. Somehow, referee John McLaughlin ended up in the path of the ball, it ricocheted off him and into the path of a Shels player who then slipped O’Sullivan in behind the defence and he made no mistake in scoring although Michael Kelly did get a hand to it. The games next controversial moment came soon after when Jamie Doyle was given a straight red for dissent. Doyle, who won a challenge clearly, was deemed to have fouled a Shels man and immediately showed his frustration at the decision. Up until that stage, Longford still had a good chance of getting something from the game. With the extra man, Shelbourne took full advantage and went on the attack. 3 more goals for the Dublin side, Karl Moore got two more to get his hat-trick and a soft penalty awarded in the dying moments saw James English get in on the action. Throughout all the madness, Assistant Manager Daire Doyle was sent to the stands also and will only return to the dugout on Saturday night after serving his suspension.

Longford go into Saturdays game off the back off a fantastic 4-1 away win over Galway United. A game that De Town were never in danger of losing from the get go, the returning Jamie Doyle scored twice along with Dylan McGlade who stamped his mark on top scorer of the season. Jamie Hollywood went off injured late into the second half with what looked like a nasty injury so he is doubtful for the game.

Shelbourne come to the City Calling Stadium following a 2-1 victory away to Wexford last week. Wexford took the lead but two goals in the second half from Greg Moorehouse saw the Red’s leave Ferrycarrig with all three points.

If we go by this season alone, Saturday’s game will no doubt be another entertaining clash. Town will have to do without the pivotal Sam Verdon who is now on the injury list along with Dean Byrne while Jamie Hollywood and Peter Hopkins remain doubtful.

Longford last won the FAI Cup back in 2004, a second cup title in successive years while the last time De Town competed in the final for the Cup was a 2007 loss to Cork. Shels last won the Cup way back in 2000. Both teams will be looking to continue on a good cup run as the league winds down. With only a few games remaining, Shels are only 4 points ahead of Longford in the hunt for a play off promotion spot.



FAI Cup Second Round Tie Confirmed: Longford Town v Shelbourne

Mon Aug 13th 2018

The Irish Daily Mail FAI Cup Second Round draw was made earlier on RTE TWO’s Soccer Republic. Longford Town will take on Shelbourne at City Calling Stadium, on Saturday 25th August at 7.30pm.

Here’s the rest of the FAI Cup Second Round ties.

CIE Ranch v UCD
Galway United v Bohemians
Derry City v St. Patrick’s Athletic
Dundalk v Finn Harps
Cork City v Maynooth University Town
Drogheda United v Waterford FC
Limerick v Cabinteely
Longford Town v Shelbourne

 



Match Report: Sligo Rovers 0-1 Longford Town (FAI Cup 1st Rnd)

Sun Aug 12th 2018

Match Report by James Donnelly

Irish Daily Mail FAI Cup First Round

Sligo Rovers FC 0-1 Longford Town FC

11/08/18, The Showgrounds, 7.45pm

Longford Town FC dumped Sligo Rovers out of the FAI Cup in the first round for the second successive year on Friday night as Jamie Hollywoods 65th minute goal was enough to seal the victory for the Red and Black at the Showgrounds.

On a wet and windy night, De Town got some bad news before the whistle was even blown, Shane Elworthy picking up a knock and having to be replaced in the starting eleven by Tristan Noack-Hofmann.

Longford had the opening chance of the game straight from tip-off. Gaining posession, Aodh Dervin (who had a terrific game in midfield) found Dylan McGlade who turned his man and shot from inside, forcing the early save from Beeney in the Sligo goal.

Sligo could have opened the scoring only moments later when David Cawley found himself free in the box but his speculative shot from the right side took a deflection and bounced narrowly wide of the Longford goal.

Town keeper Michael Kelly was yellow carded in the 12th minute after mistakenly picking the ball up outside his own box. The resulting free came to nothing in the end but he will want to forget about that one!

Neale Fenn was forced to make another unplanned early change when Sam Verdon had to go off with what looked like a nasty ankle injury. The challenge on Verdon warranted a yellow card to be produced and the recently returned Peter Hopkins came on in place. Verdon had been performing well up to that point, winning the ball in the air to lay if off to McGlade and Meenan on the wings. Longford will hope that the injury isn’t as serious as it looked as Verdon has played a key role in the hunt for promotion this season.

Rovers had a glorious opportunity to go 1-0 up on 32 minutes. A corner from McCabe was met in the air by Callan-McFadden but his header hit the cross bar and was cleared away from danger. A real let off for Longford but they can thank Michael Kelly who seemed to have gotten the slightest of touches to tip it on to the cross bar. One of many saves he would have to make throughout the night.

While Sligo pushed forward, Longford didn’t give them too much time on the ball and applied pressure. Peter Hopkins went close on 40 minutes when the ball broke on the halfway line to send him clear but he never fully connected with the ball and his shot drifted wide of Beeney’s post.

[caption id="attachment_18776" align="aligncenter" width="740"] Karl Chambers in action during last years FAI Cup win over Sligo Rovers at the City Calling Stadium.[/caption]

Longford had a shout for a penalty on 43 minutes, Jamie Hollywood on the end of a challenge just on the edge of the box. Town fans called for a peno but on inspection of the replay, it was evidently a yard or so outside the area. The resulting free from Daniel O’Reilly was straight into the hands of Beeney.

Going in 0-0 at half time, many Longford supporters were optimistic that the team could pull off another win, following on from last seasons cup win over Sligo at the City Calling Stadium.

Sligo started the second half with a purpose and could have taken the lead only a few minutes in when Mikey Drennan got free down the left hand side before turning in past Karl Chambers but his low flying shot rattled the bottom of the far post and bounced straight back into Kellys hands.

Dylan McGlade, who many were calling man of the match after another skillful display, had the opportunity to put Longford in the driving seat on 62 minutes. His long range effort stinging the hands of Beeney in goal who put it out for a corner.

Town supporters didn’t have to wait long for a goal to come though. Only 3 minutes later, McGlade once again produced a moment of magic when he rounded the Sligo defender on the touch line before playing it back to Jamie Hollywood who cooly slotted it into the far corner. Beeney should have done better but full credit to Longford, they kept up the pressure and it paid off.

From then on, Rovers began to mount attack after attack. Michael Kelly, who could have gotten a look in for man of the match also, was forced to save on a number of occasions for Longford and kept the side in it. Up the other end, McGlade went close again, shooting from the right side, his curled shot was palmed away by Beeney for a corner.

While Sligo tried and tried, Longford’s defence held firm. The Bit O’Red couldn’t break down the back 4 and it became evident when they resorted to long balls straight up the top in the last 10 minutes. Mikey Drennan had one last chance for Sligo after he raced through on goal but Michael Kelly was there again, this time denying him with a brilliant save using his foot.

Overall, a great night for Neale Fenn and Co, who will need all the positivity and momentum they can get going into Friday night’s game away against Galway United in the run in for a promotion playoff spot.

Sligo Rovers: Beeney, Twardek, Callan-McFadden, Mahon, McClean, Donelon, Cawley, McCabe (c), Lynch, Cretaro, Drennan

Subs: McGinty, Sharkey, Keaney (replaced Mahon), Wixted, McAleer (replaced Cretaro), Kerrigan, Morrison.

Longford Town: Kelly, Noack-Hofmann, O’Reilly, McDonnell, Chambers, Meenan, Zambra (c), Hollywood, Dervin, McGlade, Verdon.

Subs: Kelly, Hopkins (replaced Verdon), Ryan, O’Neill, O’Connor, Dillon, Temolo.

MATCH PREVIEW: Sligo Rovers v Longford Town (FAI Cup First Round)

Sat Aug 11th 2018

Match Preview by James Donnelly

Irish Daily Mail FAI Cup First Round
Sligo Rovers FC v Longford Town FC

Saturday 11th August 2018

The Showgrounds • 7.45PM

Sligo Rovers and Longford Town FC face off tonight in the first round of the FAI Cup. In a repeat of last years first round clash, Gerard Lyttle’s side will be hoping to gain revenge after they were sent crashing out of the tournament after extra time at the City Calling Stadium last time out.

Longford won 4-2 after extra time thanks to goals from Karl Chambers, Sam Verdon, Kealan Dillon and Peter Hopkins. Dillon has since moved on to pastures new but Chambers, Verdon and Hopkins are all available for selection.

Looking at both clubs current form, Sligo come into tonight’s game off the back of a 1-0 loss at home to Derry in the EA Sports Cup Semi-Final. Only a few days previously, they had made the trip up to the Brandywell for a league fixture and left with all 3 points. Sitting third from bottom in the Premier Division, the West Coast side have had struggled at times. Much like ourselves in the league, they have shown they can be a good footballing side at times but they have also shown they are vulnerable in areas. With that being said, Sligo boss Gerard Lyttle knows that they can’t underestimate Longford. Speaking to Sligo Rovers official website, he commented: “Longford turned us over last year and we know they are a good side. Neale has them playing a good brand of football, out from the back, and they’re up there challenging for the play-off spots. We know the dangers and I don’t think complacency will be an issue for us. I do feel we’re stronger this year and that’s no disrespect to any players here before. However, it’s up to us to go out and put the performance in. I think if we keep playing like we have been that we can win games and that’s the job for the lads on Saturday.”

[caption id="attachment_18759" align="aligncenter" width="645"] Sam Verdon celebrates scoring his goal along with Karl Chambers during last year’s Irish Daily Mail FAI Cup First Round win over Sligo Rovers at the City Calling Stadium last year.[/caption]

Sligo Rovers and Longford Town FC face off tonight in the first round of the FAI Cup. In a repeat of last years first round clash, Gerard Lyttle’s side will be hoping to gain revenge after they were sent crashing out of the tournament after extra time at the City Calling Stadium last time out.

Longford won 4-2 after extra time thanks to goals from Karl Chambers, Sam Verdon, Kealan Dillon and Peter Hopkins. Dillon has since moved on to pastures new but Chambers, Verdon and Hopkins are all available for selection.

Looking at both clubs current form, Sligo come into tonight’s game off the back of a 1-0 loss at home to Derry in the EA Sports Cup Semi-Final. Only a few days previously, they had made the trip up to the Brandywell for a league fixture and left with all 3 points. Sitting third from bottom in the Premier Division, the West Coast side have had struggled at times. Much like ourselves in the league, they have shown they can be a good footballing side at times but they have also shown they are vulnerable in areas. With that being said, Sligo boss Gerard Lyttle knows that they can’t underestimate Longford. Speaking to Sligo Rovers official website, he commented: “Longford turned us over last year and we know they are a good side. Neale has them playing a good brand of football, out from the back, and they’re up there challenging for the play-off spots. We know the dangers and I don’t think complacency will be an issue for us. I do feel we’re stronger this year and that’s no disrespect to any players here before. However, it’s up to us to go out and put the performance in. I think if we keep playing like we have been that we can win games and that’s the job for the lads on Saturday.”

Longford Town come into tonight’s game off the back of a comfortable 2-0 win over Athlone Town at the City Calling Stadium last week. While that game went off without a hitch, De Town’s last few weeks have been anything but easy. Losing 4 out of 6 in the month of July, Neale Fenn’s side have struggled to find consistent form in the second half of the season. While we are still very much in the mix for a promotion playoff spot, Longford will need to find the form they showed in beating league leaders UCD 5-1 earlier in the season. Speaking briefly to LTFC.ie, Neale Fenn said he feels Longford can win the game and won’t fear Sligo. Having beaten the home side last year and it being the cup, anything can happen.

In terms of team news for Longford, Jamie Doyle is suspended for the game while Dean Byrne is still on the injury list.

For Sligo, Gary Boylan is the only loss as he is still recovering from a long-term cruciate ligament injury.

Kick off at the Showgrounds tonight is 7.45pm.

Safe travels to all Longford supporters making the trip to Sligo.

#CmonDeTown!

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2018 SSE Airtricity League First Division

City Calling Stadium

City Calling Stadium

Tolka Park

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Eamonn Deacy Park

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United Park

City Calling Stadium

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St. Colman's Park

Ferrycarrig Park

City Calling Stadium

Athlone Town Stadium

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Finn Park

Stradbrook

City Calling Stadium

UCD Bowl

City Calling Stadium

Finn Park

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Tolka Park

City Calling Stadium

Eamonn Deacy Park

City Calling Stadium

United Park

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2018 First Division

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