Match Preview by Tony Ghee
This Saturday night at 7.30pm in the City Calling Stadium, Longford Town host play-off chasing Bray Wanderers in their last home league game of the regular season.
The home side secured their play-off berth with two games to spare after defeating Wexford FC away in Ferrycarrig Park by two goals to nil, as goals in each half from Dean Byrne on twenty-six minutes and Aaron Dobbs on fifty-one minutes secured the crucial three points for Daire Doyle’s ‘Red & Black’ army.
The last play-off place is between Saturday night’s visitors and Cabinteely FC with the South Dubliners currently holding a four point advantage over the Wicklow outfit, so a Cabinteely victory at home to Athlone Town tonight will seal the final play-off berth for them.
Last time out Bray recorded an away draw with leaders Shelbourne at Tolka Park and they possess talented players who can cause Longford problems with the likes of Dean Williams, Sean Heaney, and former Town favourite, Dylan McGlade in their ranks.
The teams have met twice in the league this season with both sides recording home victories. Back in April, goals from Town defender Mick McDonnell and winger Peter Hopkins earned a two-nil victory for Longford at the City Calling Stadium.[caption id="attachment_22452" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Dean Byrne celebrates scoring against Bray during the clubs’ previous meeting at the Carlisle Grounds. Pic: Ken Keenan[/caption]
However, Bray exacted revenge in June at the Carlisle Grounds, when they stunned Longford with two late goals to win by three goals to two, despite trailing on eighty-eight minutes.
Derek Daly put the Seagulls ahead in the fifth minute, but Dean Byrne’s equalizer on thirty-one minutes had the contest level at the interval.
A Luke Nolan own goal on eighty-five minutes put Longford two-one up, but two defenders won the game for Bray. Killian Cantwell on eighty-eight minutes and Hugh Douglas deep into injury time secured the come-back victory for Gary Cronin’s team.
Former Longford Town midfielder Phillip Gannon is playing for Bray this season while manager Gary Cronin is fondly remembered by the Longford Town fans having been at the club as both a player and a coach.
On the team news front, both Aodh Dervin and Sam Verdon are suspended, while midfielder Paul O’Connor is rated doubtful.