Fri Jun 28th 2013
It's good to be back and back to business we are on Friday night as League leaders Longford Town travel to the Drom in county Galway for what our reporter Kieran Burke describes as a must win game. Here is @burko77_'s preview to Friday's action:
League leaders Longford Town will be expected to get back to winning ways following the mid-season break in the Airtricity League when they take on the First Divisions bottom side Salthill Devon at the Drom on Friday.
Former Galway United manager Tony Cousins saw his Town side crash to a derby day defeat in the final game before the break away to arch rivals Athlone Town, who in the process of their 2-0 win cut the gap at the top to just six points making a quick recovery from that defeat vital to Longford Town title hopes this season.
The Midlanders go into the game with two wins to their name already this season against Devon but Cousins men will have to be weary of the fact it took a 93rd minute winner from David O’Sullivan to settle proceedings in the sides last meeting at City Calling Stadium back at the end of April.
Despite the loss to Athlone a fortnight ago Longford Town have only loss three games all season with two of those coming home and away to Finn Harps so supporters of the “Red and black” will be delighted with their position to date.
As for the hosts they once again sit bottom of Irish football's second tier where they have finished every season since entering the League of Ireland in 2010. However, the Galway men have seen an upturn in their recent form with 2 wins from 3 league games coming before the break to leave them just two points behind new boys Cobh Ramblers who currently sit 7th.
Striker Enda Curran has been Devon’s shining light once again this season and a hugely impressive performance at nearby Eamon Deacy Park in the FAI Ford Cup against Shamrock Rovers just a few weeks ago has put Curran on a number of clubs radars but he will miss Friday’s game through suspension which is good news for “De Town” back four as they are missing their usual centre-back pairing of McCarthy and McDonagh through suspension also.
All eyes will once again be on First Division top goalscorer David O’Sullivan this weekend after he was shut out of the “Clasico” by a robust Athlone Town defence. “Sully” introduced himself to the League of Ireland in grand fashion at the Drom on the opening day of the season with a superbly taken hat-trick as LTFC sunk Salthill Devon 5-0 to lay down an early marker to their 2013 promotion rivals.
The odds of a similar scoreline this time round are unlikely with Tony Mannions side a much more organised outfit from the one that lined out on the opening day of the season but with a tough home tie against long time rivals Waterford United next on the cards for Longford prior to gruelling trips to Finn Park and St.Colmans Park it is important that “De Town” get back to business on Friday night.
Elsewhere in the First Division, second placed Athlone Town host the other Galway side Mervue United in what will be a tough task for Roddy Collins side while next weekend’s opponents Waterford United entertain Finn Harps at the RSC in a winner takes all contest.
Sneaking up as a dark horse are a resurgent Wexford Youths and they will expect another three points when they face Cobh Ramblers at St.Colmans Park so as you can see the possibility is there once again for “De Town” to extend their lead with a number of promotion rivals facing off against each other and you can do your part by heading to the Drom this coming Friday to support the league leaders, kick-off is 7.45pm and there are still places available on the supporters club bus departing Longford at 5.30pm.