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.