Aaron McNally pictured in action for Longford Town against Finn Harps in the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division game at Finn Park in Ballybofey on Friday night last
After gaining a very valuable point in the 1-1 draw against Finn Harps in Ballybofey on Friday night last, Longford Town take on the joint table toppers Sligo Rovers at Bishopsgate this Saturday night, kick-off 7.30pm.
With the gradual easing of the Covid restrictions in relation to outdoor sports fixtures, an attendance of 500 will be allowed into the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division clash against Sligo. Tickets are for Longford Town supporters only.
There is no doubt that this will be a tough test for the Town who have already lost twice to Sligo this season.
The first meeting between the near neighbours was in early April with Garry Buckley scoring the winning goal for the West of Ireland club in a close encounter at Bishopsgate.
Sligo are a full time squad and it certainly showed in the 4-0 hammering they inflicted on Bohemians at the Showgrounds on Saturday night last.
The Town travelled to the Showgrounds at the end of May and lost 2-0 with Walter Figueira and Jordan Gibson scoring the goals for the home side.
It's no fluke that Sligo are top of the table alongside Shamrock Rovers and St Patrick’s Athletic and the clubs have exactly the same record of ten wins, five draws and three defeats to date.
In the impressive win over Bohemians last weekend, two of the Sligo Rovers goals were scored by rising young star Johnny Kenny who may also be claiming a third which was put down as an OG.
Also on target for Liam Buckley’s strong side was Ryan De Vries who has been capped five times for New Zealand.
Even though they won 4-0, Sligo had to be thankful to keeper Ed McGinty who made a few superb saves during the course of the game.
There is no doubt that the big difference in the Sligo team this year is in the midfield sector where the vastly experienced and physically strong Greg Bolger is making a major impact.
Johnny Kenny and young Leitrim lad Niall Morohan are other key figures along with former Stevenage winger Jordan Gibson who is another potential matchwinner and will have to be closely watched.
Sligo will be coming to Bishopsgate confident of taking away the three points to maintain their challenge for the league title but it is now time for Longford Town to do the business and start winning games.
It's amazing that Daire Doyle’s side can go out and give top teams like Shamrock Rovers and Dundalk a torrid time on the pitch and then go out against Waterford and produce a very poor performance against the other strugglers in the relegation battle.
Doyle was forced to make a change against Finn Harps last weekend with Mick McDonnell suspended following his red card in the previous game against Waterford and he was replaced in the defence by Joe Manley who played well in Ballybofey.
To go to Finn Park and Oriel Park and come away with a draw in both recent games was a fine achievement but Longford’s home form is disappointing, to say the least.
Hopefully that will change against Sligo Rovers on Saturday and with the July transfer window about to open there is doubt that Daire Doyle needs to strengthen his squad in the fierce fight for survival in the Premier Division.
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