Kieran Burke ( @burko77_ ) previews tomorrow night's action for ltfc.ie
Longford Town FC will aim to bounce back to winning ways on Friday night when they make the trip to Ferrycarrig Park to face a dangerous Wexford Youths side (Kick-off 8:00PM). A spirited and dominant second half showing at home to Shelbourne last weekend was not enough for ‘De Town’ to take even a share of the spoils as a wonderful Jordan Keegan counter-attack goal gave the ‘Reds’ a 1-0 triumph at City Calling Stadium. Longford boss, Tony Cousins will have been thrilled with his side’s second half display despite the result and if the ‘Red and Black’ can put in a similar performance for the full ninety minutes tomorrow night, you’d have to fancy their chances.
Shane Keegan’s Wexford Youths have been earmarked as a potential surprise package for the coming season and a solid showing on the opening weekend at Tolka Park and a first win of 2014 last time out at home to Cobh Ramblers helps back up those claims. Despite losing a number of last year’s squad members early on in the off-season, Keegan performed admirably in pre-season to capture several astute League of Ireland performers. There was somewhat of a player exchange in the South-East at the start of the year with Waterford United and the Youths seeing troops transfer from one camp to the other but many pundits would say that Wexford seem to have come out the stronger with the captures of Peter Higgins and Ben Ryan two stand out deals.
Also returning to the Wexford Youths set up is the club’s all-time leading goal scorer, Danny Furlong from Cork City and he has wasted no time in notching more strikes to his impressive tally with a successful penalty to his credit against the Cork side last weekend in a 3-2 victory. It’s not just the additions to this Youths squad that have been impressive but the capability to hold onto top performers such as Shane Nolan, Aidan Keenan and Deano Broaders gives the men in Pink a really solid look even in such flashy colours.
Longford Town FC took ten points from a possible twelve in meetings with Wexford last season and despite the fact that it is almost four years since the Youths last beat Longford, these games are always hard fought and tense encounters. In 2013, two of the four league encounters were settled by just a one goal margin while Wexford did manage to hold Tony Cousins side to a damaging stalemate at Ferrycarrig Park in the middle part of last year.
As previously mentioned, Wexford Youths are often maligned as one of the division’s tougher teams to break down and while they look set to set up with a similar approach for Friday’s meeting, the loss of star central defender Shane Nolan through suspension is a massive one and it should allow last season’s top goalscorer, David O’Sullivan some extra breathing space in a usually congested Wexford Youths penalty area. In other disappointing news for the hosts, James Dermody will also miss out through suspension while manager Shane Keegan also serves a touchline ban.
With a gruelling journey to Cobh on the cards next Saturday for ‘De Town’ it will be crucial that Tony Cousins men get back to winning ways on Friday night and as ever you can follow live match updates via our official Twitter account @longfordtownfc while there are still seats available on the Section O supporters bus departing Longford at 4.45PM. Contact Kieran on 083 167 0304 to confirm your booking.