Cobh Ramblers vs Longford Town Preview by Andrew Dempsey (@AndrewDempsey2)
Neale Fenn will be looking for his team to bounce back straight away from a bitterly disappointing 3-1 home defeat to Shelbourne as they make the long trip down to Cobh on the August Bank Holiday weekend (Kick-Off, Saturday at 7.15pm)
Last time these sides met each other in the league, “De Town” came out on top with a very late Jake Kelly winner, as “The Rams” were beaten 2-1 at the CCS. However, Cobh have had a very good record against Longford so far this season with 2 victories over Town prior to that game.
Cobh boss Stephen Henderson has recently signed a new deal at the club which will see him stay at the club until the end of the 2020 alongside his second in command Stuart Ashton.
This will also be Neale Fenn’s first trip as a manager to St Colman’s Park following his appointment as new Longford Town manager at the end of June. Fenn previously played for Cobhs city rivals Cork City between 2004 and 2006.
On the injury front, Longford are expected to be without Noel Haverty who went off injured last week against Shelbourne with a groin injury. Kevin O’Connor may also be a doubt after pulling up before the game. Long-term absentee and leading club goalscorer Davy O’Sullivan is within touching distance of a return to action but concerns over the bumpy St.Colman’s playing surface may reduce “Sully’s” role to a mere cameo display on Saturday. Getting the 2014 league winner back fit and firing will be crucial if “De Town” are to stand any chance of knocking Sligo Rovers out of the cup next weekend.
Neale Fenn will have to make do without the services of Kealan Dillon and Daniel O’Reilly will have to sit out serving suspensions after dismissals against Shelbourne and Wexford respectively.
Cobh have also had a rocky few weeks in terms of injuries and suspensions and it will be a great relief to manager Stephen Henderson that this seems to be easing. Ian Mylod and Stephen Christopher are doubts for the game. Ben O’Riordan is to miss out with an injury.
Keep an eye out for young Ramblers star Beineon O’Brien Whitmarsh who has been involved with the first team in recent weeks. The youngster scored his first goal in their 2-0 victory over Wexford FC last weekend.
Speaking with cobhramblers.ie, Henderson heaped praise on O’Brien Whitmarsh:
“He’s been brilliant. That goal last week was his seventh goal in four games for the club between senior and our other sides, and it was great to see him score”
This game will be of huge importance for both sides. Cobh boss Henderson has been vocal likening every game between now and the end of the season to a cup final. On the other hand, Longford will be hoping to get a massive confidence boost ahead of that huge FAI Cup game versus Sligo Rovers in the N4 derby.
Going by the league table, Cobh must be considered favourites to dispatch of 6th placed Longford Town who have failed to live up to the pre-season title favourites tag. “The Rams” have had an impressive season to date but have fallen away in recent weeks with Waterford pulling 9 points clear. On the other hand, last time Town were looking to bounce back from a loss they won at Ferrycarrig Park which may bode well for Saturday night.
Prediction: Cobh Ramblers 2-1 Longford Town
Have you heard episode 9 of Between the Stripes LOI podcast yet? If not, it’s available for listening now by clicking the Mixcloud player below. This weeks guests included Bohemians striker Dinny Corcoran, Portmarnock manager Willie O’Leary and Limerick FC reporter Mike Ahern.