Longford looking to overcome cup holders and advance to last four!

huddleLongford Town vs Cork City Preview by @AndrewDempsey2 (Photo credit - Cathal McGuinness) Neale Fenn welcomes his former employer to the City Calling Stadium as Longford Town look to live up to their cup specialists tag in attempting to dump an all-conquering and reigning cup holders Cork City side out of the FAI Cup. If this were to happen it would surely be one of the stand-out results in the FAI Cup this season and maybe even recent years.

In the previous round of the cup, Longford Town edged their way past a very brave and battling Bangor Celtic side at the Iveagh Grounds in Dublin with a 1-0 success with Jack Brady or “Stephen Conlon” (cough*** Brian Kerr ***cough) making an incredible save to keep Town in the lead. Don Cowan scored the winner in a game that should have been over by half time with Fenn’s charges wasting a plethora of chances before the interval.

On the other hand, The Rebel Army strolled past the Red and Black’s midlands rivals at Turners Cross with a 7-0 crushing of Roddy Collins Athlone Town. Former Sligo Rovers men, Kieran Sadlier and Achille Campion scored both the first and last goals to round off a very easy win for City. Conor Ellis scored a brace in this hammering also.

Speaking ahead of the game with theleagueofireland.com, Town Boss Neale Fenn has called on the Longford Town support to get out and roar his side over the line and support his charges in what is the clubs biggest game of the season to date.

"We are expecting the biggest crowd of the season for this one so the players can't wait to get going and hopefully the crowd will keep us going like they did in the game against Sligo, they were fantastic that night and have been ever since."

Also, Fenn has made no secret that he will tell his starting eleven to take the game to City and will not direct them to park the bus by any means.

"We will respect Cork City as Cup holders and Premier Division leaders but we certainly won't be parking the bus!"

Speaking at a press conference on Wednesday, Cork defender Robbie Williams (No… not the lad from Take That) has said that he is looking forward to putting last week’s disappointment away to Shamrock Rovers to bed at the City Calling Stadium

He said; “We had an off night at Shamrock (Rovers), well put it to one side and well go to Longford full of confidence and hopefully get the right result, then the Shamrock (Rovers) game is forgotten about”

On the team news front for Longford Town, influential captain and midfielder Kevin O’Connor misses out alongside both Paul Skinner and summer transfer arrival Alan Kehoe. There is nobody on the suspension list for the midlands club.

As for the visitors, Johnny Dunleavy and Alec Byrne are expected to be unavailable as the pair are on the long-term absentee list down at “The Cross”. John Caulfield will have the luxury of having no player serving a suspension at the City Calling on Saturday night, similar to Neale Fenn’s outfit.

If a draw were to happen, the replay would take place at Turners Cross on Tuesday night at 7.45pm Now, prediction time. After glancing through Paddy Powers betting odds for the game they have “De Town” out at 12/1 while Cork are sure-fire favourites at 2/9. My heart would obviously go for the “cupset” and to be perfectly honest, I can see one here. Longford Town are playing a fantastic brand of football and Cork City have looked a shadow of their previous scintillating selves without Maguire and O’Connor on Leeside. On the other hand, I wouldn’t be shocked to see Cork put on a clinic to show up their critics either.

Recent form and results suggest that the “Red and Black”, with 4 wins on the bounce could spring a surprise result here and with Cork looking not as invincible as before, losing two league games out of the previous three, anything can happen.

At the end of the day, it’s a cup game and Town are playing with a newfound belief and confidence which has renewed hope in the midlands after a dark 18 months. If Fenn can get his players to match, or even surpass the performances from the Sligo game, they could have a chance here.

Prediction: Longford Town 2-2 Cork City