League Preview: Longford Town -v- Bohemians

Sat, Jul 02 2016

Longford Town welcome Bohemians to the City Calling stadium on Saturday. Credit: Steve Alfred/Pitchsidephoto.com

Longford Town go in search of just their second league win of the season when they welcome Bohemians to the City Calling stadium on Saturday (kick-off 7:30pm).
Longford Town welcome Bohemians on Saturday evening aiming to record only their second league victory of the campaign – Tony Cousins' side haven't claimed all three points in a game since beating Wexford Youths 2-0 in Ferrycarrig Park on the opening night of the season. 
Since the departures of several key players such as Mark Salmon, Paul Hunt, Stephen Rice and Ayman Ben Mohamed, the Town have found life in the Premier Division difficult. Longford currently languish at the foot of the table with relegation becoming a more realistic possibility with each passing week.
After suffering defeat in their last outing against Finn Harps at home, Cousins will be aware that this week represents a real chance to make up ground on the two teams immediately above them: 11th placed Bray Wanderers (one point above them) and tenth placed Wexford Youths (four points above them).
The Seagulls and Youths face-off at the Carlisle Grounds, so any positive result against Bohs will see Longford close the gap on either side.
Bohemians travel to Longford aiming to extend their unbeaten run to six games in all competitions after Keith Long’s side returned from the mid-season break with a 1-1 home draw against Galway United. 
Despite taking the lead in the tenth minute through Ismahil Akinade, the Gypsies were pegged back through a Ryan Connolly strike. Long told bohemians.ie that despite the game finishing level, his side should have doubled their advantage before Galway levelled.  
“The danger after three weeks without a game is that you don't come into a game at full tilt,” Long explained. 
“In fairness, we had trained hard, we did start brightly and should have gone 2-0 ahead, which would have been a different game.
“After that initial spell of 20 minutes, Galway came back into it and equalised. We made changes in the second half and in the last 25 minutes, we looked like the only team who could win it and [had] a decent shout for a penalty too."
Although Saturday’s opposition have failed to win in 15 league outings since early March, Long is not taking the challenge lightly when they take to the road for this weekend. 
“It doesn't matter who you play in this league, every team is capable of giving you a game," said Long. "They're down the bottom of the table, they know they need to start winning and they will be scrapping for points. Tony Cousins will have them throwing the kitchen sink at us and we have to be prepared for that."
Bohs will be without Jake Kelly who misses the game despite returning to training after a shoulder injury while Dave Mulcahy is doubtful with a virus. 
Referee: James McKell.
Bohemians have beaten Longford on two occasions this season, both at Dalymount Park: they eliminated the Town from the EA Sports Cup with a 3-1 win in March and won 2-0 in the league in April.
Longford’s top scorer in the league is David O’Sullivan with four goals, while Bohemians' is Ismahil Akinade with three. However, Bohs have had nine different league scorers compared to Longford’s five. 
Longford Town 4/1; Draw 12/5; Bohemians FC 7/10.
Longford Town 0-3 Bohemians.
Longford Town
Injured: Unknown.
Doubtful: Unknown.
Suspended: None.
Bohemians FC
Injured: Jake Kelly (shoulder).
Doubtful: Dave Mulcahy (virus).
Suspended: None.