Match Preview by Tony Ghee
Longford Town travel to Tolka Park this Friday night for a vital promotion clash against Shelbourne as both sides look to cement their play-off credentials with just six league matches remaining. Just one point separates fourth placed Shelbourne on 36 points from fifth placed Longford on 35 points with sixth placed Galway Utd on 32 points, so the pressure is on both teams in this Tolka Park clash to secure a victory to enhance their promotion play-off ambitions.
Longford Town have a tough run in to the season's end with matches away to Galway, away to Drogheda and home to UCD to come, so defeat for Neale Fenn's charges would be a serious set-back to say the least.
While Longford Town have beaten all of their other top six rivals this season, they have only taken a point in their two league meetings against Shels.In a rip-roaring encounter at Tolka Park, a hat-trick from Longford Town's record goal scorer, David O'Sullivan, for his new club Shelbourne, secured a vital 3-2 victory for the Dubliners with O'Sullivan converting a last gasp penalty to earn all three crucial points.
Longford Town finished that contest with just nine players after McGlade was dismissed in the 81st minute, and Verdon who scored both the Town goals, was also red carded just before O'Sullivan converted the match winning penalty.
In the second league meeting at the City Calling Stadium, the sides finished level after a one-all draw. O'Sullivan again scored against his former club to put Shels ahead with a 49th minute header, but McGlade equalised for the Town on the hour mark after intercepting a stray pass from James English.
Last weekend, Longford Town defeated Wexford FC 3-0 with all the goals coming in the second-half courtesy of a brace from McGlade and a goal from Noack-Hofmann who diverted a Danny O'Reilly shot to the net. Shels earned a good point in Ballybofey with a scoreless draw away to Finn Harps.
On the team news front, Alan Byrne is suspended for Shelbourne while Longford Town will be without the injured Mulhall, Hopkins, and Dean Byrne.
The big match at Tolka Park kicks-off at 7.45pm and as usual there will be regular updates on the club Twitter account. (@LongfordTownFC)