Waterford Utd v Longford Town preview

Thu Aug 29th 2013
In the last decade Longford Town and Waterford United have crossed paths in some huge matches ranging from the 2004 FAI Cup Final to a relegation six pointer in 2007 to last year’s First Division play-off final. Almost one year on these two great rivals meet again in a season defining game at the RSC on Friday night. With just one automatic promotion place on offer in the eight team First Division again this season Friday’s game could go a long way to at least securing another play-off for one of these two teams again this season, while Roddy Collins' Athlone Town are not out of sight just yet.

While Tony Cousins Longford Town team go into this fourth and final regular season encounter against the “Blues” with the upper hand in the head to head encounters for 2013, there has been very little to choose from in the three previous meetings. The second game of the league campaign saw Waterford travel to City Calling Stadium for Longford’s first home game of the season and despite an early Paudie Quinn opener goals from Michael Isichei and David O’Sullivan saw “De Town” over the line in a pulsating first forty-five minutes. A fantastic performance from United ‘keeper and former Town number one Craig Hyland ensured Longford would only claim victory by that narrow  2-1 margain. The next meeting at the RSC would prove to be one of Paul O’Brien’s last games as Waterford manager as an 88th minute David O’Sullivan goal secured Longford a valuable away point and in turn crushed any hopes of a Waterford revival under O’Brien. The most recent meeting was another heart stopping affair as “De Town” held on to secure another 2-1 win over the “Blues” who threw everyone forward in the last few minutes at City Calling Stadium despite been reduced to ten men very early in the first half when Hyland saw red before O’Sullivan converted the resulting penalty to send “De Town” on their way for a fine victory that night.
The RSC faithful will point to the fact that two of their new signings, prior to that 2-1 defeat, were not allowed to play due to clearance issues and had Conor Meade and Marco Chindea been available to interim manager David Breen the “Blues” would have been a much greater threat going forward.
The visitors will have taken confidence from last weekend’s cup performance against Premier Division side Drogheda United at City Calling Stadium and Town fans will be hoping the players can take momentum from scoring two goals against quality opposition and from defeating Salthill Devon 4-0 the week before and use it to put in a much needed quality performance against Waterford.
 Football is all about taking your chances when they come and in recent weeks “De Town” will be hoping to up their game for this encounter. Should the likes of Josh O’Hanlon and Gary Shaw find that killer touch during this promotion run in Longford could very well go on a run at just the right time, something Tony Cousins has been keen to express in recent interviews.
With league leaders Athlone Town facing into a tough game against Wexford Youths, without the services of three key players this weekend and with Finn Harps on the horizon for Longford Town this Friday’s game really is an all or nothing situation for both teams who are level on points at present (Longford lie ahead on goal difference).
Kick-off at the RSC is 7-45 this Friday night with seats still available on the Longford Town FC supporters club bus. Leave a message on the Section O Facebook or Twitter page for further details.


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