Wexford FC vs Longford Town Preview
By Andrew Dempsey (@Andrewdempsey2)
Longford Town travel down to Ferrycarrig Park in the SSE Airtricity League First Division on Friday night looking to bounce back from defeat against the other South-East based club, Waterford FC. (Kick-Off 8pm).
Wexford go into this game on the back of an encouraging run of form which has seen Damian Locke’s charges beat “Shels” and “Cabo”, both away in recent weeks. However, Wexford haven’t won at Ferrycarrig since the win over Shelbourne in May.
Last week saw Wexford leave Tolka Park victorious as goals from Thomas Croke and Mikey Byrne saw them claim a massive win over “Shels” at the historic Drumcondra venue.
Wexford also gave league leaders Waterford FC a serious run for their money in the South East Derby at the RSC, with forward Dean Kelly finding the net for Wexford as they took a surprise lead before succumbing to a 2-1 defeat.
Manager, Damien Locke will be able to call on the services of new signing Adam O’Rourke, who has just signed for the 2015 First Division champions. However, Ricky Fox is unavailable for Friday’s match due to suspension. In their victory over Shelbourne, Wexford opted to play a back three, in a move that proved to pay dividends as they left the capital with the three points. It’d be far from surprising to see this replicated against the “Red and Black”.
All of these recent results are veering towards a very tight and competitive game down at the Sunny South East venue. Last time these sides met in the First Division, “Town” came out on top with a 5-0 victory, which is remembered by many as previous Longford Town manager Alan Matthews final game in charge with his dismissal coming straight after the game.
“Town” make the trip down to Wexford on the back of an unlucky 1-0 defeat at home to Waterford FC at the “CCS”. Neale Fenn’s outfit were certainly an equal to the league leaders and had things gone their way, they could have had a victory. It was only a goalkeeping howler from netminder Paul Skinner that was the difference between the two sides.
Fenn will also no doubt take confidence that despite the unfavorable greasy conditions, “Town” still were able to strut around their stuff on the pitch and be the equals of the best team in the league. In spite of this, the lack of a clinical edge may be a worry to him.
Following the game, “Town” announced the signatures of Paul Finnegan, previously of Cliftonville in the Irish League and Sam Verdon of St Patrick’s Athletic. “Town” fans may see some sight of these two new signings at Ferrycarrig Park.
With the departure of Enda Curran to midlands rivals Athlone Town, “De Town” are still quite light up front in the striker department. Davy O’Sullivan will miss out with a groin issue which has plagued his season, while Cody Mulhall is unlikely to feature following the sudden death of his father, Cathal. Condolences are extended to the entire Mulhall family from the ‘Between the Stripes’ team.
Were Wexford FC to win, they could leapfrog fellow basement strugglers Athlone into 7th place. For Longford Town to move up the table, a win is a must and then hope there is a favorable result in the Dublin Derby between Cabinteely and Shelbourne at Stradbrook.
Going by many shock results in the First Division this season, it may not be a surprise to see Wexford come out on top with the three points on this occasion as they look to dish out revenge after their five goal drubbing at the CCS. With hopes of promotion long gone for both sides, it is all about building for next season or maybe even gaining momentum for an unlikely cup run.
Prediction: Wexford FC 1 Longford Town 2