After suffering a dismal defeat at home to Bray Wanderers on Monday evening, Longford Town are back in action on Saturday night when they host near neighbours Athlone Town (kick-off is at 7.30pm).
Daire Doyle’s promotion hunters are unbeaten in their previous 15 against Athlone and will be hoping they can capitalise on any potential slip-ups from the side’s around them in the table.
If anything, Longford know that they must turn in a much-improved performance than the one they produced on Monday against Bray.
The visitors broke the deadlock in the fourth minute when Dylan Barrett’s corner was headed home by Gary Shaw.
Just twenty minutes later Shaw was to beat Steacy again when he got his and his side’s second of the game; Joe Doyle’s cross met the head of Shaw at the near post and he made no mistake.
The result was never in doubt after Longford’s slow start – as they found themselves five points behind Cabinteely after just four games.
In terms of team news for De Town, the duo of Thomas McLaughlin and Dean Byrne remain side-lined.
Winless in their previous 15 competitive games against Longford Town, Athlone Town will be hoping for a positive result on Saturday evening when they make the visit to Bishopsgate.
The Blue and Black of the Midlands come into Saturday’s encounter off the back of an encouraging 2-2 draw away to Galway United.
However, Athlone boss Adrian Carberry was wary of the challenges that Longford pose to his young side earlier this week with extratime.com.
“Longford are flying, and they’ve got a good squad that’s doing very well – fair play to them.
“We’re different in the sense that we’re building and at a different stage at this moment in time. We’re trying to get to there and push on and it’s coming slowly.
“We’re getting great backing by the club and are getting there slowly. We’re a bit behind Longford on paper but it’s like everything else when it’s a derby game.
“It’s one you look forward to. You’d prefer to be at home than away but… if we can go over there and play the same way we did against Galway we have every chance.
“It’s a local derby and the games are great to be involved in again – I remember playing in them years ago but it’s great to be back involved in some way.
“We’re trying to follow suit so we’re heading as underdogs, but we don’t mind that. That takes pressure off us and hopefully we can go give a good account of ourselves.”
In terms of team news for Athlone, they are likely to be able to call upon the services of new recruit Lee Duffy and captain Darren Meenan ahead of Saturday’s derby.
Referee: Eoghan O’Shea.
Athlone Town boss Adrian Carberry has history in this fixture as a player, scoring a winner for Athlone in a FAI Cup quarter-final replay during extra-time in 1998.
Longford boss Daire Doyle has only seen his side win at home once since he took charge of the Red and Black in August 2019 following Neale Fenn’s shock departure.
In the previous decade, Athlone Town only won twice away from home in the Midlands Derby, with their most recent coming in 2013.
Longford Town have won ten of the previous twelve games between the pair of Midlands rivals.
Longford Town 1/7; Draw 9/2; Athlone Town 12/1.
Longford Town 2 - 0 Athlone Town
Injured: Dean Byrne, Thomas McLaughlin.
'We're different in the sense that we're building and are at a different stage at this moment in time but we're trying to get to there and push on' - Athlone boss Adrian Carberry hopeful of emulating local rivals Longford https://t.co/Ufw8tYrvCI pic.twitter.com/Bi67Ic7Gh9— Extratime.com (@ExtratimeNews) August 6, 2020