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by Aaron Kelly
After a poor run of results that has seen two defeats on the bounce, Longford Town must find a way to put in a performance and arguably more importantly gain all three points as they welcome Finn Harps back to Bishopsgate for the second time this season. A Ryan Rainey penalty with 9 minutes left on the clock was the difference between the 2 sides the last time the sides met in the midlands on March 18th. In the following meeting between the sides in April at Finn Park, Aodh Dervin’s goal managed to salvage a point for De Town. Now back in front of the home support, can Longford go 1 better and win all 3 points over Dave Rogers’ side?
Speaking of Finn Harps, it hasn’t exactly been a smooth transition back to first division football, and it’s fair to say their recent form has been leaving a lot to be desired, with their most recent defeat being a 6-0 hammering at the hands of Galway United. However, with 4 points already secured against the midlanders this season, I imagine Finn Harps have reason to believe that they can get back to winning ways against Stephen Henderson’s side.
With the goal of both of these sides undoubtedly to achieve in the first division’s play-off places, form must improve, and the league position of both sides would further emphasise this point as only the newest inductees to the league Kerry FC are below Town and Harps in the table. Longford’s last home outing was an impressive draw at home to Waterford on May 27th. However, this result feels like an awful long time ago after 2 consecutive away defeats on the bounce to local rivals Athlone Town and more recently to Cobh Ramblers.
Town have actually had 2 men sent off in the last two games also, and I do believe that an improvement in regards to discipline both from a structural standpoint for the team and on an individual mental level will be key if Longford are to get their first win in their last 3 games this Friday night.