Tag: match preview

MATCH PREVIEW: Drogheda United v Longford Town

Thu Sep 13th 2018

Match Preview by Tony Ghee

Longford Town travel to United Park in Drogheda tomorrow (Friday) for a crunch league clash with play-off rivals Drogheda United, where an away victory will gaurantee Neale Fenn’s charges a promotion play-off spot.

However, a home win will see Drogheda leapfrog Longford into the final play-off berth with just one round of matches to go, a draw will mean that Longford and Drogheda will fight it out on the final day of the regular season in their respective games against UCD and Cobh, with Longford holding a one point advantage.

So far this season, Longford are unbeaten against the Louth side. A Sam Verdon goal assisted by Dylan McGlade gave the ‘Red & Black’ all three points at the City Calling Stadium.

However, the goal that could come back to haunt the Town in the final shake-up, could be Ciaran Kelly’s last kick-of-the-match equaliser when the sides clashed at United Park to cancel out Dean Byrne’s lead goal for Longford.

The game finished in a one-all draw, but Kelly’s goal resulted in a three point swing, and means that if the Town had held on for victory, they would be four points clear of Drogheda instead of just one.

While Drogheda had no game last weekend due to the Irish Daily Mail FAI Cup Quarter-Finals, Longford will be looking to bounce back in style from last Week’s Cup mauling at home to double champions Cork City.

Morale is excellent in the Longford camp and last week’s result has firmly been consigned to ‘Room 101’ and will have no bearing on tomorrow’s outcome.

On the team news front, Darren Meenan and Shane Elworthy are suspended, while Dean Byrne and Jamie Hollywood are both definitely out injured. Sam Verdon is not fit for a starting place, but may be fit enough for a place on the bench.



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.



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!

MATCH PREVIEW: Longford Town v Wexford FC

Thu Jul 19th 2018

Preview by Tony Ghee

Longford Town aim to bounce back from two successive league defeats when they host Wexford FC at the City Calling Stadium on Saturday night at 7.30pm.


Longford Town had built momentum for a title charge when they followed up their one-nil victory at home to Drogheda with a mesmerising 5-1 triumph away to league leaders UCD at the Bowl in their first game back after the summer break. However, a 2-1 home loss to Cobh and last week’s demoralising 3-0 defeat away to Harps has seen Neale Fenn’s charges drop to sixth in the table and their title ambitions ended as they are now in a dogfight to secure a play-off berth.

The visitors to the City Calling Stadium have struggled this season and are currently managerless after  having parted company with previous boss Damian Locke. Wexford are second bottom in the table with 15 points, while sixth place Longford have 32 points and are 3 points behind Shels who are in the final play-off spot.

As well as losing their last two league matches, Longford also exited the Leinster Senior Cup on Monday night last suffering a 2-1 defeat at home to Shelbourne. Before losing 3-0 last weekend at home to leaders UCD, the Slaneysiders had taken seven points out of a possible nine in their previous three league outings. They held Galway to a 0-0 draw at Ferrycarrig Park before recording back-to-back victories away to Athlone (1-0) as well as an impressive 2-1 triumph away to Cabinteely.

Longford Town have the upper hand on Wexford FC this season winning both league meetings to date. In their first clash at the City Calling Stadium, the ‘Red & Back’ ran out 3-0 winners, as a brace from Mulhall and a goal from McGlade sealed the three points, and the Town also won the encounter at Ferrycarrig Park 2-0 as Hollywood and Mulhall found the Wexford net.

A victory is an absolute must for the home side to get their promotion push back on track and if they play to their potential, then a victory will be achieved, however, the Town’s inconsistency this season, especially in games that they are expected to win, means that Wexford are more than capable of leaving the City Calling Stadium with a point.

Speaking to Andrew Dempsey for LTFC.ie, new signing Dean Dillon said ‘We know that we need to win the game if we are to get back into the promotion race. The game is even more important now especially after our last two games in the league. I personally think that Wexford are going to sit in against us so it’s going to be another tough game. We need to go about our business and be patient about it. We will play the way that we normally do and it’s vital that we win it like all the rest of our games between now and the end of the season.”


On the team news front, both Shane Elworthy and Sam Verdon should recover from their knocks from Monday night’s Leinster Cup game but definitely out are Alan Kehoe, Peter Hopkins, and Dean Byrne, while Chris Mulhall is rated doubtful.

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