Club: Longford Town.
Manager: Daire Doyle.
Highest league goalscorer: Sam Verdon, Aodh Dervin & Rob Manley (1).
Current position: 3rd.
How we thought they would do for the 2020 season
At the start of the season, the Extratime.com team predicted a second placed league finish for Longford Town.
However, our writers noted that De Town were well primed for a serious assault on the First Division league crown – especially given their impressive off-season transfer business.
How they did in the opening part of the season
Longford have played a game less than most of their First Division rivals after their home game against Bray Wanderers was postponed due to a waterlogged pitch.
However, the Red and Black still find themselves in third position after securing two wins from two in their opening games.
Goals in either half from Aodh Dervin and Rob Manley saw De Town earned a workmanlike two-nil victory over Shamrock Rovers II – despite a spirited performance from the Hoops second string.
In their second game, Daire Doyle’s charges earned a gritty one-nil win over Drogheda United thanks to a close-range finish from Sam Verdon.
Longford however were significantly aided by the efforts of shot-stopper Lee Steacy in goal as the former Leinster Senior Cup winning keeper produced a string of top class saves to earn the three points.
Moment of the season so far
In a season that is two games old for Longford, it is difficult to pick one stand-out moment. However, if you were to pick one it would have to be the defensive display that saw Town earn three points at United Park.
After taking the lead, Longford withstood a barrage of attacks from Tim Clancy’s side who were thwarted at every possible opportunity.
The result itself was pivotal in the sense that on previous occasions Longford would have faltered late on, but it was not to be in this such case.
Undoubtedly, Longford will look to replicate as many similar moments like this as possible between now and the end of the season.
Stand out player so far this season
Already, it has become abundantly clear that goalkeeper Lee Steacy will play a major role in any success Longford Town have between now and the end of the season.
The 27-year-old was reportedly courted by a host of clubs during the off-season – but it was Longford and Daire Doyle who were able to retain their man.
The former Dublin GAA minor goalkeeper has already produced big saves at big moments for Longford in their opening two games – and he will be looking to bring his consistent early season form into the season’s restart.
Transfers in/out prior to the restart
In: Lido Lotefa (Dundalk).
What they need to do in the restart
If anything, Longford just need to keep doing what they were previously at prior to the suspension in league activities in March.
Longford did not concede a single goal in their opening two matches – and were also able to find the target on three occasions during the two games.
They will also have the added boost of being able to welcome Lido Lotefa to their first-team squad – while Dean Byrne looks let for a return following his injury picked in February.
If anything, the return of the league seems to have arrived at the best possible time for Longford – and should they pick up from where they left off, promotion to the Premier Division will not be too far away.
Where we see them finishing
Who will they face in the FAI Cup?
Cork City (Away).
First post-lockdown league fixture