After a terrible fortnight both on the pitch and in the stands, Limerick FC will have the opportunity to register some positive news as they face another side without a point, Longford Town.
The banning of 30 fans from Jackman Park during the week has threatened to divide the small crowd further, with many fans disagreeing that what the club “views as unacceptable behaviour”. Several opinions on social media side with those banned, while one thing is for sure, the public relations disaster from this is already damaging the image of the club struggling to attract new supporters.
A low attendance is expected after the fallout of this saga, with the two losses so far somewhat forgotten about it the mist of this action.
One piece of good news was the signature of Jason Hughes, a local midfielder who was highly prominent for Limerick in the last 18 months. His arrival may fill the void left by Shane Duggan. The midfielder was sent-off in last week’s heavy defeat at the hands of Cork City.
Colm Murphy remains sidelined with a hamstring problem while Robbie Williams is likely to skipper the side in the absence of Duggan.
Much like the Super Blues, Longford have registered no points and no goals from 180 minutes of Premier Division action thus far. Longford striker Davy O’Sullivan will be as determined as anybody to register a goal after taking the step up a division.
A narrow defeat to the Champions, Dundalk, followed by a home reversal to Shamrock Rovers mean that three points on Shannonside would be massive.
A healthy home attendance at the City Calling Stadium will give the club encouragement, but like their opponents, gate receipts rely heavily on a team that’s away from a relegation dogfight.
Pat Sullivan missed out last week as he was married and it’s unsure if he returns this weekend. Tony Cousins should have close to a full squad.
It’s difficult to tell if Longford will be capable of matching the majority of Premier Division opponents, with Dundalk and Shamrock Rovers among many people’s title favourites, perhaps Saturday will allow for further assessment of their status.
Tony Cousins arrives to Jackman Park having taken a point from their most recent visit in August 2012.
Referee: J McKell
Paul Hunt and Mark Salmon are the only remaining two players from the 36 involved when the sides met in October 2012. Limerick won 2-0 in what was their penultimate game in the First Division.
This is the first ever meeting between the sides in the Premier Division.
Limerick 14/5 Draw 23/10 Longford Town 1/1
Limerick 2-2 Longford Town
Injured: Colm Murphy (Hamstring)
Suspended: Shane Duggan