Longford Town face Wexford FC at Ferrycarrig Park

SSE Airtricity League First Division - Round 12

Donald Keogh

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Donald Keogh

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newsroom@longfordleader.ie

Airtricity League First Division

Darren Meenan pictured in action for Longford Town against Wexford in the Airtricity League First Division game at City Calling Stadium earlier in the season. Photo: Syl Healy

Longford Town are on the road again this Friday when they travel to Ferrycarrig Park to face Wexford FC, kick-off 8pm.

Friday night’s game will be the Town's fourth away game in succession over a ten day period which isn't great for part time footballers.

Longford travelled to Cobh on Saturday last minus the services of Aodh Dervin who could be out for a considerable time due to his ankle injury received against a very tough Finn Harps team at City Calling Stadium the previous Saturday.

Dean Zambra, who didn't start against Finn Harps but who replaced the injured Jamie Hollywood late in the game, was back on the team in Cobh.

There was some good news on the injury front as Shane Elworthy and Peter Hopkins were on the bench in Cobh after both being out injured.

While both Hopkins and Elworthy are back in the squad, manager Neale Fenn is still minus the services of Alan Kehoe, Shane O'Connor, Cian Byrne and Aodh Dervin which is a lot of players out of a small squad.

No doubt Fenn will be hoping that his squad will be strengthened by the return of some of these lads in the coming weeks. The Town have to keep picking up points to keep the pressure on the teams ahead of them and in doing so they will be hoping to get a better return of points in the second round of games in the First Division.

Wexford FC have changed their squad since Damien Locke took over as manager from Shane Keegan who defected to Galway at the end of the 2016 season.

Locke has lost quite a few players but he still has them playing very good football with a very young squad. Twelve of his current panel are twenty one and younger while defender Ross Kenny and midfielder Thomas Croke are the veterans in the squad at 27 years of age. They are two of the most experienced players in the team with many years experience with Wexford and other league clubs. Young striker Aaron Dobbs, who missed the Cabinteely game last weekend because of injury, could be back for Friday's game.

The young striker is on loan from Shamrock Rovers and he is definitely one of the up and coming players in the league.

In the previous game between the clubs in early March at City Calling Stadium the Town had a 3-0 victory. This was an emphatic win  over a very young Wexford side who like to take down the ball and play attractive football.

Last season the teams met on four occasions and the Town won three and drew the other game. The first meeting between the clubs last season ended in a 0-0 draw at Ferrycarrig Park.

The Town were in real scoring form in the second meeting between the clubs at City Calling Stadium. Dylan McGlade opened the scoring very early on and this was followed up with an excellent effort from Dean Zambra to blast to the net after Wexford keeper Graham Doyle could only parry Gavin Boyne's shot. No more goals came in the first half and the Town had to wait until the 53rd minute to increase their lead. This goal was scored by an excellent shot by Kevin O'Connor.

Zambra got the Town's fourth and his second and the best goal of the game was the final one when Jake Kelly set up Kealan Dillon who sent a blockbuster past the bewildered Wexford keeper. That game marked the debut of Aodh Dervin for the Town's first team when he replaced the injured Kevin O'Connor in the 81st minute.

The next meeting between the clubs was at Ferrycarrig Park and the Town had an almost full squad to pick from. The Town won this game 2-1 but with all the chances we had it should have been a more comprehensive victory.

The final game between the clubs was at City Calling Stadium and the only goal of the game came from Davy O'Sullivan.   

If the Town hope to get back into the top half of the table and challenge for the play-off positions in the table they  really need to get a win in Ferrycarrig Park this Friday night against a struggling Wexford side who were hammered at home 8-0 by league leaders UCD on the Bank Holiday Monday.