Preview by Kieran Burke (@justburko)
Third placed Shelbourne will travel to the City Calling Stadium on Saturday night in the hope of extending Longford’s miserable home run, which has seen the Midlanders go almost two full years without a home victory.
October 2015 was the last time the Red and Black of Longford Town claimed three points at the previously named Flancare Park, and following a slow start to the 2017 season, Alan Mathews men are under pressure to end that surprising statistic as soon as possible.
A scoreless draw away to bottom placed Wexford FC last Friday sees ”De Town” go into round eight in the eight team first division eight points behind earlier leaders Waterford FC.
A home draw against the ”Blues” just a couple of weeks ago had given Town fans hope that performances would soon turn and those hopes were boosted further thanks to a stunning 4-3 Derby day victory away to Athlone in the EA Sports Cup.
However, missed chances have been the story of Longford’s season to date and that theme was to continue at Ferrycarrig Park with strikers Davy O’Sullivan, Cody Mulhall and Enda Curran in particular guilty of some lack-luster finishing.
Owen Heary’s ”Reds” claimed an excellent 1-0 victory over early surprise package Cabinteely last week with a late goal moving the Drumcondra club within two points of Pat Fenlon’s Waterford. With just one defeat so far this season, ”Shels” are proving to be a hard nut to crack, as they were in the opening game of the season at Tolka Park when a Dean Delaney penalty save saw Heary’s troops claim a point against Saturday nights opponents.
Team news ahead of the game on Saturday evening sees Aidan Collins, Dylan Kavanagh, Mikey Murphy and Niall Lanigan sitting the game out for Shelbourne. They have no suspensions.
For Longford, Enda Curran required some minor treatment after a knock picked up in the South-East also but should be fit to feature. Noel Haverty remains Longford’s only long term absentee with ligament damage. Also missing the game will be Don Cowan (hamstring), David O’Sullivan (groin) and Jake Kelly with a broken nose.