- Thursday September 2nd, 2021 @ 11:09
Preview: Saints V Longford (03/09/21)
League action resumes on Friday night when St Patrick's Athletic welcome Longford Town to Richmond Park.
Kick off is at 7.45pm, with 2,500 fans allowed to attend the game, the biggest crowd at Richmond since a 1-0 win against Cork City in March 2020.
Tickets are only available online, and will be on sale right up to kick-off or until the game sells out
The Saints were in action in the Extra.ie FAI Cup last weekend when they had a dramatic win on penalties over Cork City.
Chris Forrester's late penalty looked as if it had sent his side through in normal time, but Barry Coffey's goal right at the death forced it to extra time.
The sides could not be separated after extra time and four perfect penalties from Chris Forrester, Ben McCormack, Jay McClelland and Alfie Lewis put The Saints through to the quarter finals where they will face Wexford in a couple of weeks.
St Pat's were last in league action two weeks ago and were beaten by Finn Harps.
Tunde Owolabi put Harps ahead before Forrester levelled proceedings from the penalty spot.
However, two more goals from Owolabi ensured all three points stayed in the North West as The Saints travelled home empty handed.
They will be looking to get back to winning ways on Friday night.
They come into the game in second place, just three points behind leaders Shamrock Rovers, albeit they have played two games less than their Dublin rivals.
Opposition Watch and Recent Meetings
It has been a tough return to top flight football for Longford Town.
They come into Friday's game bottom of the table just just one league win so far, that came on the opening night of the season at home to Derry City.
They have lost their last four games and will be hoping for a change of fortune on Friday night in Richmond.
The teams have met twice this season, with The Saints running out winners on both occasions.
They first met back in April when two wonder goals from Chris Forrester and a Ronan Coughlan strike powered them to a 3-0 victory. They met again in June, with St Pat's victorious thanks to goals from Robbie Benson, Matty Smith and Ronan Coughlan. They will be hoping for more of the same on Friday against 'De Town'.
View From The Dugout
Head Coach Stephen O'Donnell has been busy during the week preparing for another big game, he is expecting another tough challenge on Friday:
"There will be no complacency, definitely not. I think Longford were unlucky in a couple of games, even a couple of weeks ago, obviously they were done in the last kick of the game against Shamrock Rovers in Tallaght. In a lot of games, they have been very competitive and created a lot of chances and have just found it hard to go and win those games when they are in the melting pot, but they have dangerous players and there will be no complacency on our side and that's for sure."
It's a busy period for all St Pat's players with FAI Cup and league games demanding attention, midfielder Alfie Lewis is relishing another game and is ready for the test Longford will bring in front of a packed Richmond Park:
"I've been really enjoying my football and am looking forward to being back in Richmond in front of our biggest home crowd for quite a while. I've loved the experience of playing at home in front of the fans and we've been in good form with six home wins from six since the return of the supporters. We are in the Quarters of the FAI cup and challenging for the league, so it's been an exciting year so far, we're fully focused on Longford on Friday, it will be a dififcult game but one we are aiming to play well in and hopefully pick up the three points."
Team-News: Sam Bone and Paddy Barrett return from suspension, John Mountney had a knee operation this week following his cruciate ligament injury against Dundalk, Robbie Benson continues his rehab from a quad problem but will miss the game while Lee Desmond is following the return to play protocols following his concussion. Adam Murphy (hamstring) will also miss the match with Goalkeeper Vitezslav Jaros away on international duty with the Czech Republic U21s.
Match Programme: You can download a free copy of 'The Saint' from our website from Friday morning onwards.
Where Can You Watch The Game: The game will be live on LOITV, with live coverage beginning at 7.15pm. Jamie Moore and Ger O'Brien will be on duty alongside Brian Kerr, we'll also have a special video feature on our U19s qualification for the UEFA Youth League.
Updates: You can catch updates across all of our social media channels, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and TikTok.
Photo credit: Inpho Sports