Waterford United welcome Longford Town to the Regional Sports Centre on Friday night as “De Town” look to edge closer to their return to the top tier of Irish football.
For the home side, Friday night’s encounter will offer the young Blues side the chance to grab their first victory since before the mid-season break.
Waterford come into the game on the back of a four nil druBBing by Southeast rivals, Wexford Youths. It took just six minutes for the home side to open the scoring last Friday night, when Dean Broaders fired home. The striker was on target again on sixty eight minutes to double his sides lead.
Six minutes later united were three down when Kilian Cantwell put the ball in the back of Kevin Burns net. Funnily enough, it was Last who had the last word of the night. The defender scoring on eight seven minutes to give the Youths a comfortable four nil victory.
Longford entertained bottom side Cobh Ramblers last Saturday evening. Cobh, clearly, hadn’t read the script and took the lead on eighteen minutes through Martin Deady. The slender lead would last right up to before the break, when Stephen Rice hit back for the home side to send both sides into the break level.
The midlanders took the lead again ten minutes after the restart when Lorcan Shannon fired home, before, ex Blue, Kynan Rocks dragged the Ramblers right back into the game on sixty three minutes. Six minutes later, the home side restored their lead as Peter Hynes found the back of Birdsall’s net. Mark Salmon wrapped up procedures with four minutes to go, as Tony Cousins side moved one step closer to automatic promotion.
The sides last met in July, when Longford ran out 3-1 winners over their Southern counter parts. Having taken the lead early on, two Gary Shaw goals and a goal from the one they call , “The White Pele”, David O’Sullivan, gave “De Town” a comfortable win.
When the sides last crossed paths in the RSC the midlanders took the spoils. Having taken the lead early on via O’Sullivan, the Blues pulled a goal back through, now Limerick player, Jack Doherty. Longford took the lead again before halftime, O’Sullivan with the strike. The Blues battled back into the game, and drew level on seventy nine minutes when Willie John Kiely put the ball in the back of the Longford net.
There was one more twist in the match, and that came in the form of substitute Etanda Nikololo. A name that sends shivers down the spines of united fans. The French native stuck home with a marvellous strike with seven minutes remaining to send the travelling support home with smiles.
Speaking to waterford-united.ie, Blues boss Tommy Griffins is content to be going into tomorrow’s game as underdogs.
“Being underdogs will take some pressure off us [against Longford] but that does not stop us having a huge desire to get a positive result, and for us that is more important than anything else. The young lads will want a chance to show that they are improving game by game, and we now need to focus on how we deal with a very good Longford Town team.”
The promising performances from this young Waterford side, will give the Blues plenty of encouragement facing high flying Longford, as De Town look to continue their march to the Premier division.
David Pheasey, Pundit Arena.