Peter Hopkins pictured in action for Longford Town against Cork City in the FAI Cup quarter-final. Photo: Syl Healy
After all the excitement of the FAI Cup it's back to the bread and butter of the League when Longford Town entertain UCD at City Calling Stadium on Saturday night next, kick-off 7.30pm.
When a club commences a season their main focus is always on the league campaign and at the Town it is no different, but a good Cup or League Cup run is also on the wish list.
After last Saturday night's game against possibly the best Premier team in years we exited the Cup on a 4-1 scoreline which I suppose gave a good reflection on the game.
Fair dues to Neale Fenn and his squad they never gave up but you could see the physical difference and also the fitness levels that Cork have achieved from daily training as a group who will be playing champions League football next season.
The Town could have added to the own goal which was deflected into the net by defender Robbie Williams.
We are now out of the Cup after a good run and now it's back to the league and try to pick up maximum points in the final three games. The run in starts on Saturday and there is no doubt that Collie O'Neill's squad will be hoping to extend their six points advantage over us on Saturday next. They have two victories from the three games played against the Town this season, winning the opening game at home on a 2-0 victory.
The second game took place at City Calling Stadium with the visitors somehow scoring a hard earned victory.
The third game in the UCD Bowl failed to produce a goal and now we look forward to another big game at the City Calling Stadium when Neale Fenn will be hoping to get the Town's first victory over the students in the current season.
This is a very youthful team that manager Fenn is working with and it's beginning to show improvement by the game. UCD will be no pushover and they will be hoping to consolidate their position in third place but there is no doubt that Neale Fenn will be hoping to extend his good league run.
UCD are gone back to a student based squad after a few seasons of having experienced pros in their squad. Keeper Niall Corbett is one of top keepers in the league and it will take a lot of effort to get past him.
The defence are a fairly experienced group of lads with big Maxim Kouogun very impressive this season and he has a very good partner in the defence in Evan Osam.
The UCD midfield are a formidable outfit with the experienced Gary O'Neill and Jason McClelland showing some great form this season with McClelland knocking in a few very important goals. Daire O'Connor and Georgie Kelly also chip in with some very important goals. In recent matches UCD have lost to Waterford and Cobh both games 1-0 and that has basically put them out of contention while they also lost to Cabinteely.
Longford Town need to take as many points as possible in the remaining three matches and why not start with a resounding victory over UCD on Saturday next.
SSE Airtricity league
Longford Town V UCD
at City Calling Stadium
This Saturday 16 September
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