Aodh Dervin pictured in action for Longford Town against Galway United in the Airtricity League First Division game at Eamon Deacy Park on Friday night last. Photo: Ken Keenan
Longford Town have a break from the league this weekend as they take on Shelbourne in the second round of the FAI Cup at City Calling Stadium on Saturday night, kick-off 7.30pm.
The Town have three crucial league games to play in the First Division and the FAI Cup fixture to contend with in a very exciting end to the season.
Longford were without the injured Shane Elworthy, Peter Hopkins, Sam Verdon and Dean Byrne for the trip to Galway on Friday night last but there was some good news for manager Neale Fenn as Jamie Doyle was back in the team on his return from suspension.
As the excellent 4-1 result would suggest the Town were dominant for long spells in the league game at Eamon Deacy Park and could have scored a few more goals.
The injury jinx struck again when Jamie Hollywood, who scored the winning goal against Sligo Rovers in the FAI Cup the previous weekend, was stretchered off in the closing stages as the Town played with ten men for the closing minutes of the match.
The bad news is that Sam Verdon is ruled out for the rest of the season and this influential player is a huge loss. The news on Jamie Hollywood is not sure at the moment and his injury is another blow for the |Town.
Neale Fenn is keeping Longford going on two fronts, in the league and in the FAI Cup. There is no doubt that the players will not be lacking in motivation in their bid to gain revenge for the 6-1 hammering they suffered against Shels in the recent league clash at Tolka Park.
For the second time this season a Shels player scored a hat-trick against the Town. Back in mid-March Shelbourne defeated the Town 3-2 at Tolka Park with former Longford striker David O’Sullivan hitting a hat-trick. The Town goals were scored by Sam Verdon.
The other league meeting between the clubs this season was at City Calling Stadium in mid-May and that game ended 1-1. David O’Sullivan scored for Shels in the 49th minute with Dylan McGlade getting the equaliser for Longford.
The teams also met in the Leinster Senior Cup quarter-final at City Calling Stadium with Shels snatching a late goal to win 2-1.
One can expect a very exciting encounter when the clubs clash again in the FAI Cup on Saturday night with a lot of good players on both teams.
Shels have Dean Delany in goals and another vastly experienced player in Davy Mulcahy. Karl Moore, who scored a debut hat-trick in the 6-1 league win over Longford, has the ability to pose a big threat while Paddy Kavanagh, Greg Moorhouse and David O’Sullivan are another key players on the strong Shels team.
Having said that, the fine form shown by Dylan McGlade and Aodh Dervin this season must give the Town a good chance of making it through to the FAI Cup quarter-final for the second year in succession under the guidance of Neale Fenn and hopefully a home win will materialise in front of the expected big attendance.