Longford Town will be hoping to kickstart their faltering promotion ambitions with a potentially massive home win against Shane Keegan’s Galway United side at the City Calling Stadium at 7.45pm on Friday night.
Having started off the month of May with a bang after winning their opening two games against Cobh Ramblers and Wexford, Neale Fenn’s charges have stalled in recent weeks after only picking up two points from a possible six against Shelbourne and Athlone Town respectively.
With two games in the space of three days, it is imperative that De Town pick up as many points as possible this weekend as they hope to stay in the promotion chase ahead of the mid-season break with games against Galway and then Finn Harps on Monday.
Should Longford manage to pick up a win against their Western opposition, who they could have easily beaten at Éamonn Deacy Park earlier on this season, Neale Fenn’s charges could find themselves in the Playoff places come the end of Friday night while a defeat could see them fall behind Galway by seven points.
If Neale Fenn is to lead his side to a morale-boosting victory, the Red and Black are going to have to do it without the services of Peter Hopkins, Cian Byrne, Alan Kehoe, Shane O’Connor and Adam O’Connor who all miss out through injury.
In addition to this, striker Chris Mulhall also misses out via suspension after his red card in last week’s Midlands El Clasico.
Galway United will surely be looking for an instant reaction with a big win over Longford Town at the City Calling Stadium this Friday night as Shane Keegan’s side will be looking to solidify their position in the promotion mix coming up to the mid-season break.
Prior to their defeat last weekend at home to fellow promotion chasing side Drogheda United at Éamonn Deacy Park, Galway were on the crest of a two-game winning streak before Sean Brennan snapped that run for Keegan’s charges.
This game will kickstart a busy week for the Tribesmen as the Westerners will be looking forward to three games in just seven days as they face Cobh away on Monday evening before going back to home comforts against Finn Harps at Éamonn Deacy Park next Friday.
Speaking ahead of the game to the club’s official media team, United boss Shane Keegan emphasised that he is looking for his side to bounce back from last week’s defeat with a big win against Longford at the City Calling Stadium.
“We were disappointed with the result against Drogheda last week. There wasn’t many chances or much difference between the two sides, so it was frustrating to come out on the wrong side of that result.
“In our two previous defeats so far this season, we’ve bounced back with back-to-back victories, which shows that we’re a team that responds well and tends to bounce back. It is of paramount importance that we do shake that result out of our system straight away and bounce back into good form immediately.” He said
In addition to this, Keegan heaped the pressure on the hosts saying that Neale Fenn’s side can’t afford to slip up at home to the Tribesmen in their own back yard.
“These are tough games. This is another six pointer for us. I think there’s a lot of pressure on Longford. They’re looking at it and there is currently a four-point gap between us and Longford.
If we did manage to go there and get a win, all of a sudden there is a seven-point gap and that could be quite hard to claw back. They’ll certainly feel the pressure and won’t want us to come out of there with the three points and it’s our intention to do just that.”
In terms of team news for Galway, Alan Conway continues to miss out via a knee complaint while the talismanic Danny Furlong is a doubt alongside the ultra-impressive Tadgh Ryan who both went off injured against last weekend’s opponents, Drogheda United.
Referee: Thomas Dempsey
Longford Town’s last five games- DDWLW
Galway United’s last five games- LWWLW
Neither side has won any of the previous four meetings between these pair of First Division rivals as the last win in this clash came for the Tribesmen in a 4-2 success for the Éamonn Deacy Park outfit as a Jake Keegan hat-trick sealed the deal for the Westerners.
Longford Town 17/10; Draw 23/10; Galway United 13/10.
Longford Town 2–1 Galway United
Injured: Adam O’Connor, Peter Hopkins, Cian Byrne, Alan Kehoe, Shane O’Connor.
Suspended: Chris Mulhall.
Injured: Alan Conway.
Doubtful: Danny Furlong, Tadgh Ryan.