Athlone Town welcome Longford to Athlone Town Stadium tonight Friday for the 1st Midlands’ El Classico of the 2017 season looking to build on their perfect start to the season. Kick off is scheduled for 7.45pm.
While Athlone have made a perfect start to the season with wins over Waterford and Wexford, Longford on the other hand have struggled a bit under former Athlone Town manager Alan Mathews having stared with an opening day scoreless draw away to Shelbourne that was followed by a 3-1 home defeat last weekend to Cobh Ramblers a score which in fairness flattered the home side as in many people’s eyes could have been a lot worse.
But as many know that have followed the club over the seasons know form counts for nothing in these games with every ball fought for like it is life or death (which for many of us is true as it is more than just a game).
Since 1997 the clubs have met in all competitions on 43 occasions with Athlone Town winning 13, Longford 18 with 12 draws. In those games Athlone have scored on 50 occasions with Longford scoring 60. The stats show how tight these games really are when you break them into matches played in Athlone with Athlone showing 8 wins, 7 defeats and 7 draws with 29 goals scored compared to 28 conceded. Only 2 of the 7 draws were scoreless.
Although matches are generally tight affairs their have on occasions for either team been some heavy defeats with Longford beating Athlone Town 5-2 in the Stadium in July 2009 while Athlone defeated Longford 5-0 in Longford back in October 1992.
Both teams head into this game with injury worries with Athlone rating Val Feeney doubtful heading into the game after he suffered a knock in last weeks win over Wexford while Longford have Noel Haverty, Don Cowan and Rhys Gorman on the injured list with the 1st two named out for up to 5 weeks.
Match betting heading into the game has Longford Town as clear favourites with Athlone Town 5/2, Longford 10/11 while a draw is priced at 12/5.