UCD came away from Ferrycarrig Park with a late point as an 86th minute Gary O’Neil strike, who had missed a penalty earlier, cancelled out a 51st minute opener for the hosts. A draw was probably a fair result given that both sides enjoyed spells of supremacy. The draw left UCD in third place in the table with seven points.
UCD’s home form this season is mixed one win and one loss. They beat Shelbourne 4-0 in Gameweek 2 but lost to Waterford 0-2 in Gameweek 3.
With that defeat by the promotion favourites, the Students will be looking to bounce back on home soil. They have lost only four times last year in the league, and just three times the year previous.
O’Neill will want a repeat of this as with only one team going up, it is vital for a team with promotion aspirations to not just win all their games, but especially their home ones.
The Students surely do not want a third consecutive season in the First Division, after being in the Premier for so long before their 2014 relegation.
So the Dublin 4 club will want to repeat that good home form. Who better to start against than one of the pre-season title favourites on Saturday night?
Longford Town suffered a second home defeat of the season to the hands of Cabinteely last Saturday at the City Calling Stadium, in a game where the sides met for the first time ever in the league. Jack Watson and Kieran ‘Marty’ Waters scored the goals for the visitors in a 0-2 win.
If the league was won on away form alone, Longford would be among the best in the league. Rather surprisingly, their home form leaves much to be desired with two games played at the City Calling stadium, they have two defeats and only one goal scored. They were beaten 1-3 by Cobh Ramblers in Gameweek 2 and as previously mentioned, 0-2 by Cabinteely in Gameweek 4.
Contrast that to their away form, it is almost bizarre the difference with the same number of games played as at home with one win and a draw and no goals conceded. They drew with Shelbourne 0-0 on the opening night and won 0-3 at Athlone Town in Gameweek 3.
Town manager Alan Mathews has a mounting injury list as Kealan Dillon and Enda Curran are both out through injury, as are medium term casualties, Noel Haverty, Rhys Gorman and Don Cowan.
Meanwhile, midfielder Gavin Boyne's availability won't be known until closer to kick-off as he is also carrying a knock.
After Friday night, everyone associated with the Shannonsiders will hope this feat is continued.
Referee: Andrew Mullally
UCD’s form coming into the game: DLWWW
Longford’s form in their last five games: LLDWL
UCD 6/4; Draw 9/4; Longford Town 8/5
UCD 2-2 Longford Town
Injured: Kealan Dillon, Enda Curran, Noel Haverty, Rhys Gorman and Don Cowan.
Doubtful: Gavin Boyne