League Preview: Longford Town -v- Shelbourne

Sat, Aug 17 2019
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None Credit: Damien Darcy (ETPhotos)

LONGFORD TOWN

Longford Town know that it is do or die in terms of their slim title hopes when they host league leaders Shelbourne at City Calling Stadium on Saturday evening (kick-off is at 7.30pm).

Town come into the Saturday evening showdown off the back of three successive wins over Galway United in the league and Athlone Town in both the cup and league.

De Town’s most recent win over Athlone Town in the cup has set up a last 16 clash with Bohemians at Dalymount Park next week.

However, it is evident that Longford Town’s players and staff are not thinking about the trip to Dalymount just yet, fully aware that their title hopes may disintegrate entirely should they fall to defeat on Saturday evening against Shels.

“The last game was hard to watch with the lads losing so late on having dominated the game for most of it,” Town winger Adam Evans told extratime.ie

“I’m hopefully looking forward to the last two performances against Shels coming together and getting the win on Saturday.

“I’m really looking forward to it saying that, it’s one that you will look out for straight away.”

Longford have not released any team news ahead of the visit of the Reds, but they will have no suspensions to contend with for tonight’s encounter.  

SHELBOURNE

Showing signs of weakness in recent weeks, Shelbourne know that they can all but end Longford Town’s title chances with a win on Saturday evening.

The Reds, having gone on a 11 game unbeaten run fell to defeat away to Cobh Ramblers on their last away outing, conceding in the final minute of the game at St Colman’s Park.

However, despite two defeats on the spin, in both the FAI Cup and league, Shels boss Ian Morris is looking for his side to get back to the level they were at during their unbeaten streak.  

“Positivity around the club has been built on the momentum throughout the season. I think it comes from the hard work and desire from the players who to want to do it for the club.

“With the passion from the fans in every match, it goes even further to show that it means something to play for this club.

“We’ve got full buses going with fans, who can really be the twelfth man for us, and it will give the players a massive boost.

“We go out to win every game without question, we want three more points.

“They’ll (Longford) be coming into the game on a bit of confidence and their performances have been really good but we didn’t go on a 12 or 13 game run for no reason,” he added. 

“The players want it. They’ve really come in this week and knuckled down. It’s there for us if we work hard.”

Forward Jaze Kabia is suspended having picked up five yellow cards during his spell at Cobh Ramblers and the Reds respectively.

John Ross Wilson is ruled out with injury while Daniel Byrne will undergo a late fitness test ahead of kick off.

Referee: Adriano Reale.

 

MATCH STATS

Longford Town have only ever fallen to defeat once at home this season, slipping to defeat at home to Pat Devlin’s Cabinteely back in May. First Division top scorer Rob Manley grabbed a late winner on that occasion.

Shelbourne have the second best away record in this year’s First Division picking up 22 points from a possible 36 on their travels, Longford on the other have the best home record with 30 points from a possible 33.

The Reds know that they only require eight more points if they are to be promoted as First Division champions. However, still do have to face the likes of Bray Wanderers, Drogheda United and Limerick in their final three league games.

BETTING

Longford Town 8/5; Draw 11/5; Shelbourne 6/4.

PREDICTION

Longford Town 2 - 1 Shelbourne.

 

Longford Town

Injured: Unavailable.

Doubtful: Unavailable.

Suspended: None.

 

Shelbourne

Injured: John Ross Wilson.

Doubtful: Daniel Byrne.

Suspended: Jaze Kabia.

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