Cobh Ramblers’ penultimate home game of the regular season sees Longford Town visit St Colman’s Park on Friday night. With three games remaining a play-off spot has been deservedly secured by the Rams, with a five point cushion over Wexford in fourth. As things stand a two-legged affair with Wexford would await in the play-offs but Athlone could yet be the opposition too.
Longford’s own play-off dreams have fallen away of late, with three successive defeats ending De Town’s hopes of catching that elusive fifth spot. Stephen Henderson’s side had been flying up until a 0-0 draw at Kerry a month a go and they haven’t picked up a point since, falling to eighth in the table. They come into this tie on the back on the back of a thrilling 3-2 defeat at home to Treaty
last Saturday. The Rams also come into the game on the back of a loss, going down 2-1 at Bray last week in what was a below-par performance.
This pair have met three times already this season. A 0-0 stalemate in Bishopsgate back in March was followed by two 1-0 victories for Ramblers, Wilson Waweru scoring the match-winner in both. While Longford may have little to play for this weekend, Shane Keegan’s men will have to be at their best to get anything given the closeness of all three meetings in 2023.
Brendeán Frahill and Dale Holland picked up bookings in the defeat at Bray and that will see them miss out on Friday through suspension. Tiernan O’Brien is also out with his foot injury but Liam Kervick returned to action with the U19s last week to complete his recovery, scoring a header against Bohemians.
Shane Keegan spoke about the game earlier this week, “To be coming into Friday with our play-off spot already secured is beyond my wildest dreams to be honest about it. As we started the second half of the season I was fully of the belief that we’d be heading into the final night needing three points, so to be well ahead of that is a fantastic achievement. We can’t let our standards drop now. There are significant advantages to finishing third. To have that play-off second leg at home would be a massive plus. We’ve been there for so long we don’t want to let it slip either so there will be a big focus now to consolidate that position.
We did slip up last weekend in Bray. The players will tell you individually that they weren’t up to their usual levels. In saying that Bray were very good on the night and at the start of the season they were one of the league favourites to finish in the top three or four. I got a couple things wrong myself in terms of tweaking things too.
Longford will come down here fighting tooth and nail for every possible point. The games this year have been incredibly tight and I expect tonight to be the exact same. They’re a good side with tremendous quality. Magerusan as probably been their stand out player along with Viktor Sredeniuk in midfield and Jack Brady in goal. There’s no way that this will be an easy game. We’d love to have a good strong crowd behind us again for these last two games.”
Kick-off in St Colman’s Park is at 19:45, with the game also live on LOITV.
Match Sponsor – EuroSpar Cobh
Matchball Sponsor – The Irish Sepsis Foundation