Match Preview by Tony Ghee
Longford Town will continue their promotion push when they resume league action away to league leaders UCD at the Bowl on Friday night with the game getting underway at 7.45pm.
UCD are seven points clear of second placed Drogheda and third placed Shelbourne while nine points is the gap to Longford Town in fourth, so a victory for Neale Fenn’s charges is a necessity if title ambitions are to remain realistic.
College are unbeaten at home all season with their three league defeats all on their travels as they lost away to Drogheda, Galway, and Cabinteely. At the Bowl, UCD have won seven of their eight league games with only Galway Utd escaping with a point after a one all draw.
Longford Town have lost just one of their last seven outings when losing 1-0 away to Cabinteely, however, three successive victories over top six rivals, Galway Utd, Finn Harps, and the crucial 1-0 home victory over Drogheda before the break have given the Town a massive boost ahead of this titanic clash.
UCD are the only team to outplay Longford this season as they gave the Midlanders a footballing lesson in their two-nil victory at the City Calling Stadium earlier in the season and are the best side the Town have played.
A brace of goals from star striker Georgie Kelly secured the victory for UCD against Longford that night with his opening goal around the hour mark resulting from a clever one-two with O’Neill, and his second on seventy-seven minutes was a close range strike that was set-up by a rampaging McClelland run down the left-wing.
Action from our last encounter v UCD at City Calling Stadium
Indeed, UCD should have won by more as they missed a plethora of chances due to a combination of poor finishing and superb goalkeeping from Mick Kelly, while the Town only produced one shot on target in the entire match.
Form between the two teams would suggest that a draw would be the most likely outcome. Georgie Kelly, Greg Sloggett, Jason McClelland and Collingwood Cup player of the season Daire O’Connor will be formidable opponents, however, Longford have plenty of quality in their ranks as Aodh Dervin, Dylan McGlade, Sam Verdon, Shane Elworthy and Karl Chambers should all pose a significant threat to UCD.
Longford Town will be missing five players on Friday night as Peter Hopkins, Alan Kehoe, Dean Byrne, Cian Byrne, and Daniel Ridge are all out injured. In transfer news, Shane O’Connor and Evan Galvin have both departed the club.