Wexford Youths -v- Longford TownThu, Jul 12 2012
Wexford will be hopeful of returning to winning ways on Friday night when they host table toppers Longford Town in Ferrycarrig Park (kick-off 8.00).
Youths’ main problem has been trying to find consistent performances particularly at home where their season record shows four wins and four losses from eight games. Their last home game saw them go down by the narrowest of margins – a 2-1 loss to third placed Waterford United.
In their last league outing, they twice let a lead slip and could only manage a 2-2 draw away to SD Galway with Thomas Croke firing the Youths ahead after only two minutes.
The draw was a very much a case of two points dropped, as far as manager Shane Keegan was concerned. Speaking midweek, the boss said his charges have responded very well to the disappointing result.
““We were incredibly disappointed after Friday night, but that said I would say that tonight’s training session was the best of the season, the lads were absolutely flying tonight and hopefully we can bring the form we showed tonight in training, and the enthusiasm shown to the game Friday night.”
In squad news, Brian Nolan and Mark Phelan return to the squad after serving out suspensions in the draw with SD Galway. In further positive news for Shane Keegan, he has no injury concerns though Paul Malone misses out due to suspension.
As for Longford, consistency has been no problem at all this year. They have surprised many and after a terrific run of games, now sit proudly (and deservedly) at the summit of the Airtricity First Division.
In fact, in their last nine league games Tony Cousins’ side have won seven and lost only one. That defeat came at the start of last month when the Town went down 2-0 at home to Limerick.
Like their Friday night opponents, Longford could only manage a draw in their last outing. That was a 0-0 in the midlands derby at home to Athlone Town. And while the hosts bossed the game from the off and had plenty of chances to take all three points, it will surely be a concern for manager Cousins that his side ultimately failed to break down the Athlone rear-guard.
However the manager can take solace from the fact that was only the second time this year his team have been kept scoreless.
In injury news, the visitors could be without the trio of Austin Skelly, James O’Brien and Des Hope who all sat out the Athlone draw.
Referee: John Grimes
While Longford may have racked up the most points at this stage in the season, they only have the second best goal difference (+11) trailing Limerick City by eight goals. Much like their league position, Wexford occupy the middle ground with a goal difference of -1.
These sides have already met twice this year with Longford winning both encounters.
With 2 red cards and 8 yellow cards dished out in the first two meeting between these sides, this pairing has produced the most cards between any two First Division sides in their first two game this season.
Wexford Town 1/5 Draw 12/5 Longford Town 4/6
A 2-0 win for the visitors.
Wexford Injury News: None
Wexford Suspension News: Paul Malone
Longford Team News: Austin Skelly, James O’Brien and Des Hope
Longford Suspension News: Willo McDonagh
Sam joined Extratime for the 2011 season and is now the site's features editor. He is based in Dublin and covers all the clubs in the capital. He is also prone to the odd Drogheda game. If you would like to contact Sam, you can reach him at email@example.com.