League leaders Bray Wanderers will be hopeful of maintaining their impressive First Division title charge when they take on Longford Town at the Carlisle Grounds on Friday evening (kick-off is at 7.45pm).
The Seagulls come into the game off the back of a morale-boosting three-one win over Brian O’Sullivan’s beleaguered Wexford at Ferrycarrig Park.
Karl Fitzsimons gave the Slaneysiders an unlikely lead before they were pegged back and eventually overtaken by the Seagulls in a late, late show.
Gary Shaw levelled through a penalty-kick in the 85th minute before Gary Cronin’s side took an unlikely lead in the 87th minute through new recruit Sean McEvoy.
Teenager Darragh Lynch then wrapped up all three points at the death for Bray with an injury time finish to make it three-one.
As a result, Bray have the best defensive record in the division having only conceded nine goals after 11 games.
Their opponents on Friday night Longford Town have the next best defensive record with only ten conceded thus far.
In terms of team news for Bray, Marlon Marishta returns from international duty with Albania’s under-21s while Joe Doyle is expected to return from injury.
After last week’s draw at home to Drogheda United, Longford Town will be looking to blow the First Division title race wide open once again when they take on Bray Wanderers on Friday evening.
De Town will perhaps be left ruing their opportunity to move to within a point of Bray last week when they drew with Drogheda at Bishopsgate.
Just four minutes had elapsed when Rob Manley opened the scoring for the Town with his fourth goal of the season and his third in two games.
Manley should’ve doubled Town’s advantage, but Drogs keeper David Odumosu made a good save with his feet to deny the player.
Six minutes into the second half, the visitors levelled matters. James Brown played a pinpoint ball over to half-time substitute Adeyemo and he found the back of the net with a fine finish.
Aodh Dervin had a stunning shot from distance tipped over the crossbar by Odumosu while a Dylan Grimes corner from the right was fisted away by the Drogs netminder in the 73rd minute.
Both sides tried hard to get a late winner with Town forcing a few corners and down the other end Joe Gorman intercepted Jordan Adeyemo’s ball into the box seven minutes from time.
The result leaves Longford Town in fourth position, although they are just three points off the top – albeit with a far inferior goal difference.
In terms of team news for Daire Doyle’s charges, both Lido Lotefa and Sam Verdon are expected to miss out with injuries that have been picked up in recent weeks.
Referee: Alan Carey.
Longford Town have only won once in their previous five league games against Bray Wanderers, with their most recent success over Gary Cronin’s side in March 2019.
Seagulls boss Gary Cronin – former Longford assistant manager – took caretaker charge of the Red and Black in June 2017 following the dismissal of then Longford boss Alan Mathews.
Bray have only conceded three goals in their previous four league games, and they have scored nine – all of which coming in their previous three league outings.
Bray Wanderers 10/11; Draw 21/10; Longford Town 13/5.
Bray Wanderers 1 - 2 Longford Town
Doubtful: Joe Doyle.
Injured: Sam Verdon, Lido Lotefa.
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