Limerick -v- Longford TownFri, Aug 03 2012
The workman-like grit of the Shannonsiders’ performances have culminated into an opportunity for Limerick to finally break their eighteen year exodus from Premier Division football. While the resources the club have are completely transparent to all, the work still needs to be done. Limerick can only do what is expected of them, and that is to win the league.
In previous weeks, Limerick has been rocked by resilient shows from SD Galway and Athlone Town. Late strikes from Dominic Foley and Rory Gaffney ensured that those struggles proved mere showcases from their rivals – academic in a series of results that have Limerick sitting top of the First Division at the moment.
A win against Longford Town would see the Blues develop a six point gap over the midland club, as well as a hefty goal difference cushion to rely on. The views of the general public and the perception they have of the club may well rest with a meaningless, yet commercially brilliant glamour friendly against the Premier League champions on Sunday, but those who have stuck with the Blues through thick and thin know that this crucial tie against Longford is a chance to finally allow themselves believe they have what it takes, should a victory arrive.
Limerick go into this one without twenty year old David O’Leary who has been arguably one of the players of the season. Stephen Bradley is available for a selection following a slight knock, while Joe Gamble returns from suspension.
It really is do or die for Longford. “The Town” seemed to be in cruise control for the large part of the season, only to have their party boat rocked by the relentless nature of their Treaty City nemesis. After only collecting five points from their last possible twelve on offer, Tony Cousins’ men know only a win will do on Shannonside as they look to keep hot on the tails of the title favourites.
Sloppy performances in recent weeks against Athlone and Wexford seemed to be the downfall of Longford, until Waterford United paid a visit to Flancare Park and claimed all three points. Peter White scored the only goal of the game as three saw red in a feisty encounter.
Longford will have great confidence ahead of this tie, knowing they are unbeaten away from home this season, but a trip to Shannonside is a tough challenge for anyone to face. Having already won earlier on in the season at the Lower Carey’s Road venue, Longford should be good value to cause an upset once more.
Mark Salmon and Alan Kirby return from suspension, while Collie James will be missing for this game courtesy of his red card against United a fortnight ago.
Referee: Keith Callanan.
Limerick and Longford are the two top scoring sides in the country.
Longford Town are unbeaten away from home this campaign.
Limerick are the only side in the country who are yet to draw a game.
Limerick FC 8/15; Draw 5/2; Longford Town 5/1.
All the stats point to a Limerick victory, so I’ll go with a 1-0 win for Longford.
Limerick FC Injury News: David O’Leary.
Limerick FC Suspension News: None.
Longford Injury News: Unavailable.
Longford Suspension News: Colm James.
Andrew joined Extratime for the 2010 season and covers all the on-goings down in Limerick. Having first experienced the League of Ireland in 2002, Andrew became hooked, even at such an early age. He is currently studying English and New Media at the University of Limerick. You can contact him via Twitter @Cunneen92.