WHAT A NIGHT!
There have been several memorable nights in the City Calling Stadium and last Saturday night was surely one of the best. We faced Cabinteely in a must win encounter. For sure, the stakes were high and so too was the tension. The weather was perfect, there was a large appreciative crowd and we were served up with a game to savour.
The final 4-1 scoreline will never reflect a game that had more than its fair share of drama and unbelievable skill. With goals in the first half from Karl Chambers and Dylan Mc Glade, it looked like we'd kick on in the remaining half. Despite having a barrow load of chances, we just couldn't net goal number three . And any thoughts of the visitors lying down were soon dispelled as they started to control the game as they searched with intent of a goal of their own. When they did finally score, Cabinteely continued to pile on the pressure. That in turn piled on the pressure on the supporters' thumping hearts. When we saw our net bulge for a second time, hearts sank only to be refloated straight away when it was flagged for an offside. And yet, the visitors pressed and pressed as the large crowd edged ever closer to their seat's edge.
The four minutes of added time seemed to be a travesty of justice. Would we hold out? Could we get to fourth place in the table? Cabinteely, it seemed were determined to rain on any party plans.
But then up stepped our wing wizard Dylan McGlade, Messi of the Midlands, a born again George Best. You'll have to check out his mesmerising two goal blitz on the club's social media to appreciate the genius of those wonder goals. They defied words, but he waltzed past defenders, leaving some on the backside as he found the net twice in a matter of seconds.
The stand was already noisy but it erupted into sheer ecstasy with the scoring drama as it unfolded in front of disbelieving eyes. Long after the final whistle had sounded, there were small groups standing round trying to make sense of what they had just witnessed. Was it wizardry or magic or had we witnessed a sporting miracle? Still not sure but it was pure football poetry in glorious colour and all in our own City Calling Stadium. What a fabulous night!
CORK CITY ON FRIDAY NIGHT
Whatever you do, remember it's a Friday night kick off this week. The powers that be changed our usual night from Saturday for our Irish Daily Mail FAI Cup clash with the current holders, Cork City.
The crowds attending home games have been growing steadily and we expect a bumper crowd clicking through the turnstiles on Friday. Already, there's talk from the southern capital of a fleet of buses heading to the Midlands. It promises to be a night of live football to be remembered. RTÉ2 are broadcasting the game live but it'd be a shame to sit in front of a TV set when you can experience all the thrills and spills as they unfold in front of you. For our previous Cup game, the staff of Coral Leisure attended the game together and thoroughly enjoyed every second. It's not every day that Longford features for about 2 hours live on national TV, so we're hoping that the council and Chamber of Commerce will all row in and support a local sporting event.
Because the game is on Friday evening, the Strokestown Road, will be busier than usual, so please do arrive early. By arriving early, you'll avoid a long walk and having to stand in line at the turnstiles. Remember, the Clubhouse will be open before the game serving teas, coffees, sandwiches and snacks. And it's worth remembering that we have the best value of any club in the land.
Cork City suffered a surprise home defeat to Sligo Rovers in the league last week and their manager John Caulfield came in for a lot of local criticism. He'll be out to reverse that sentiment on Friday night but will also be aware a potential banana skin awaits him.
What we really need is a massive crowd from all over the county to come out and support Longford Town as we aim to reach the semi-final.
PLAYER OF THE MONTH / AUGUST
Before kick off against Cabinteely, three young supporters Harry Fenn, Corey Maher and Joshua Byrne presented the player of the month award for August to Dylan McGlade. As far as can be remembered, this was the first occasion that any player has won the coveted award twice in the same season. It has been a remarkable spell for Dylan who was making headlines for his footballing wizardry and his cheeky Michael D tweets. But the Presidential tweets had no bearing on this award, it was purely for his magnificent contribution during August. Long may it continue.
NOT A CENT
It seems hard to believe but it's true. The FAI changed our game against Cork City from Saturday to Friday and never even considered giving us a cent of compensation. Remember, all players work full time jobs. They're not fully professional players like our Cup opponents. So to make the game on Friday night, they must take time off. And as if that's not bad enough, how much do you think the club receives from RTE for broadcasting the match ? Not a cent. Our facilities will be used, our players will provide almost 2 hours of entertainment for the viewers and we'll receive nothing, not a cent. Because a bigger crowd than usual is anticipated, we'll have to have extra stewards, toilets, facilities etc etc. In short this high profile match could end up costing us money. Now in plain language, that's mad.
It was lovely to hear the minute's round of applause on the 19th minute during the Cabinteely match. The applause was asked for by Bohemian FC in memory of their young supporter, Oran Tully who passed away last week. It was a fitting tribute and very pleasing to see and hear the respect afforded him. May he rest in peace.
FRIENDLY INTERNATIONAL ON SUNDAY
Sunday next sees the City Calling Stadium host an U19 International Friendly when the Republic of Ireland take on Wales. Kick off is 3.00pm and it's a fantastic opportunity to see the talent of tomorrow strut their stuff at our local venue. It's also a nice feather in the collective hat of all the hard working volunteer crew who, week in, week out, work tirelessly to have our City Calling Stadium looking so good. We've always said that we have a top class venue so now it's pleasing to see that acknowledged by the powers that be in the FAI.
SOCIAL MEDIA GROWTH
Recently all our social media sites have been growing apace. The video highlights of the games have been particularly popular and it was interesting to see someone in RTE share the highlights from our 4-1 win against Cabinteely. Even the lesser Supporters' Club Facebook site is faring well, having clocked up over 10,000 views in the last 28 days. Keep on clicking and liking.
PASCHAL QUINN RIP
It was with great sadness that we heard of the passing of our local legend Paschal Quinn.
Paschal was a former great player and was current Vice President of the Club. A man of deep learning, knowledge and intelligence he was a former principal teacher in Melview NS. In his later life, with his son and friends he attended as many matches as possible, casting a cold eye on proceedings from behind the goals at the car park end. He loved poetry and Yeats was known to be his absolute favourite. Many time and oft', he penned some excellent verses himself. His wit was legendary and his stories were much loved when he held court in Clarkes of Dublin Street.
He was a gentle man and a gentleman. And as one acquaintance put it, “it wasn't for nothing that he was known as The Master”.
We extend our sincere sympathy to Paschal's family at this sad time.
Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam uasal.