League Preview: Bray Wanderers -v- Longford Town

Carlisle Grounds

Carlisle Grounds Credit: Timmy Keane (ETPhotos)


Seagulls boss Ian Ryan will be aiming to get his side’s first home win of 2024 on Friday night when Bray Wanderers host Longford Town at 7:45pm.

Ian Ryan is aware of the difference that the Carlisle faithful can make and appealed to supporters to get behind the team: “It’s important we make our home ground a really difficult place for opposition, and I think we can achieve this together.”

The Seagulls kicked off their 2024 campaign with an opening day defeat to newly relegated UCD. Ian Ryan stated after the game that “it won’t dictate or define what we do”, after a strong pre-season.

Bray got the bounce-back victory they required at Mounthawk Park last Friday after a whirlwind of game to say the least, which finished 3-2. Former Longford man Cristian Magerusan, who bagged ten league goals in 13 starts last season, scored his first league goal for Bray. Unfortunately, Magerusan is a doubt for Friday’s game.


Longford began their season by participating in a goal-fest at Bishopsgate against Finn Harps, in which they just came out the wrong side of, losing 3-2. Bray veteran Chris Lyons bagged a brace inside thirteen minutes on his debut.

Former Bray man Conor Crowley, who scored for Longford during the pre-season campaign, was an unused substitute on the night.

Friday’s game will only be Longford’s second fixture of the season as their encounter with Wexford was postponed last week due to poor weather conditions.

Stephen Henderson’s side will fancy their chances of collecting their first points of their centenary year at the Carlisle Grounds, where they haven’t lost since 2020.

Referee: Mark Houlihan

Match Stats:

Last season Longford finished eighth, a mere one place and four points below the Wanderers however, the two sides had an intense rivalry which ultimately derailed Bray’s play-off dreams.

The sides also met in Bray’s second home fixture of last season, which ended scoreless. Both teams scored on each of the other three occasions.

Bray squandered a two-goal lead twice last season against the Midlands club. At the beginning of August, Ian Ryan’s men were two goals ahead at home to Longford and looked to be cruising after the hour mark. However, Bray capitulated and conceded four goals in 25 minutes and lost 4-2.

The second time Bray dropped points from a winning position against Longford last season, was in the penultimate round of First Division action, at Bishopsgate. This was a must win game for Bray if they were to have any hope of salvaging a playoff spot. A Darren Craven double put the Seagulls in the driving seat, but Francis Campbell pulled a goal back in the 78th minute. Dylan Hand’s 96th minute equaliser from a set-piece subsequently put the final nail in the coffin of Bray’s playoff hopes.

Betting: Bray Wanderers 7/10; Draw 13/5; Longford Town 16/5.

Prediction: Bray Wanderers 2-1 Longford Town

Bray Wanderers

Injured: N/A.

Doubtful: Ben Feeney, Cristian Magerusan, Evan Osam

Suspended: None.

Longford Town

Injured: Aaron Walsh

Doubtful: N/A.

Suspended: None.