SULLY'S SCORE SECURES STATUS
King David, St David, Sully, call him what you want but David O Sullivan's super strike rate is a massive bonus for De Town this season. He has scored 10 invaluable league goals in just 9 matches. On a very windy Friday night in Waterford, he struck on the 88th minute to secure a share of the points and in so doing, maintained our six point gap at the top of the table.
This was always going to be a tough tie and the tweets of Blues' player Paudie Quinn left us in doubt as to, the task on hand. The fact that the hosts picked up four yellow cards was proof of their intent. As we neared Waterford the sun appeared and it looked like the area was living up to it's Bord Fáilte image. However , as soon as we got off the bus we were cut in two by a gale more associated with Finn Park.
The Blues played with the gale behind them in the opening half and they made full use of it. And yet, it was somewhat against the run of play that they opened their account on 15 minutes when Coady found the back of the net. That brought their fairly small band of supporters to life and kept them animated for the first half. Chris Bennion brought off a superb full length diving save to keep the score at one nil going into the break. A cup of tea cost €2 down there and the cups used are smaller than ours in the Clubhouse. Any wonder, one cute Town supporter brought his flask.
On the resumption, De Town came out all guns blazing. Three minutes in,following a long clearance from Bennion, David O Sullivan flicked the ball which was heading for the top corner only for former Town keeper, Hyland to tip it over for a corner. That was to set the scene as the visitors upped the tempo at every opportunity. The home crowd sensed a real battle and were living on frayed nerves.Five minutes later we thought we had equalised when Haverty's spectacular overhead kick smashed off the underside of the crossbar. Waterford did all in their power to slow down proceedings and one player was clearly seen to tell the ball boys to take it easy when returning balls. Indeed a great deal of time was wasted in recovering balls. Why they didn't have a supply along the sidelines was a mystery. Tony Cousins made changes to bring more pace to the closing minutes and on 64 minutes Isichei came on for Gary Shaw but it was the double substitution on 73 minutes that really made a significant difference with Nkololo and Gillespie replacing Quinn and Purdy. The Waterford tweeter was replaced on 85 minutes and from a gesture to us in the stand was clearly happy with their performance and what he thought was a secure three points.
Our corners and free kicks could be more threatening generally but it was sub Keith Gillespie's silken free from out right that found David O Sullivan and from near in smashed home into the top of the net with just two minutes left of normal time. Then later when Waterford got a throw, in front of us, the ball boy was totally confused as the same player who had ordered him earlier to chill was now demanding the ball at once. No wonder then, that the young lad was seen shrugging his shoulders in bewilderment.
Once again, it was a late late show to savour. The only ones singing at the final whistle were the happy travellers from Longford.These edge of the seat finishes are bad for the heart but this one certainly shortened a long trip home.
FINN HARPS AT HOME
On Saturday next, we host Finn Harps at City Calling Stadium. Calling a spade, a spade, we owe them one. They may be nice and friendly up in Donegal but our record against them could do with improving. Last year they showed us little mercy and again this season, they are the only team to take all three points off us when they beat us by a single goal in Finn Park. They were beaten by Waterford at home before travelling to Cobh to nick a point down there.Saturday night will be an other very tough challenge but one we're well capable of rising to. Brian McCarthy had a legitimate goal ruled out in that encounter but that's water well under the bridge by now. City Calling Stadium is one of the closest places for Finn Harps away games and so we can expect a fairly big and noisy travelling support. Encounters between both teams have always been close and this one promises to be no exception to that rule. As well as three points, what we really want is to see many more supporters return to CCS to experience the thrills, spills and smells of real live sport.
LATE LATE STUFF
A few people were asking about our late, late scoring of late. How's about these stats. Daniel Purdy scored the winner against Cobh in the 93rd minute; David O Sullivan scored against Athlone in the 86th minute; against Salthill he scored in the 93th minute; against Waterford he scored in the 88th minute.
David O Sullivan, “ Sully”, has now scored in 5 games on the bounce and is within two games of Dave Mooney's all time record of scoring in seen games in a row. Sully has now equalled Richie Parsons and Keith O Connors record in joint second place. Sincere thanks to Marty Stapleton for supplying those amazing statistics.
PLAYER OF THE MONTH/ APRIL
Brian McCarthy is the player of the month for April. The towering Brian will receive his well deserved trophy from Tom Kelly, chairman of the Supporters' Club before the game against Finn Harps on Saturday night. Brian was a winner also when with De Town before he spent a season with the other Town.Every supporter was delighted to see the affable giant return home and here's hoping for many more award winning performances during the rest of the season.
HARDCORE TRAVELLING SUPPORT
One of the positive changes this season is the increase of our travelling support. In every away game so far, Section O and a few golden oldies have really made their voices heard. In the RSC on Friday night, the singing never ever ceased, even when behind with just 2 minutes left. It was a long haul trip of over six hours with the Supporters' bus fully booked. Leaving Longford on a bank holiday Friday afternoon in a fogged up bus with the rain pelting down to head to 90 minutes of football. This is real hard core stuff. Others packed into cars with one threatening to overheat going up inclines and an other chugging into the car park with only the whiff of petrol remaining in the tank. But one man who enjoyed every bump and wobble was Section O maestro Marty Stapleton who received the news of new employment while heading south. Marty thought it couldn't get any better when Sully scored in the 88th minute. But Marty thought he had died and gone to Heaven when he was the centre of adoring multi female attention in Supermacs of Portlaoise. The hard core travellers are all recorded in photo format on www.ltfc.ie; well worth a click.
As stated before here, our website www.ltfc.ie has undergone a complete transformation. This has been greatly appreciated by our growing fan base who, sadly have had to leave our shores in search of employment. Padraig Stapleton updates straight away and with Kieran Burke's excellent interviews and previews as well as Section O's witty Hellos, it really is a credit to all. Artel still insists we play in Flancare and Extratime.ie has lost some of its freshness, so it's refreshing to see our own site leading the way.
BUS TO DROGS
On Monday May 20th at 7.45 pm we play Drogheda Utd up in the their patch in the EA Sports Cup. If there's enough interest, we'll run a bus, so let Liam know at the match on Saturday night.
In the Ford FAI Cup , we've drawn Pike Rovers at home in June. Some of our possible headlines were “Town land Pike in Cup” or “ Salmon to Gobble Pike” but thought we'd gut them until we could add more flesh to the bones.....ouch!
CAR BOOT SALE
Once again a sincere thanks to all who helped out at the May Car Boot Sale and those who supported it. Due to its terrific support, we've been able to fund the U17 awards, 2 away buses, revamped the Clubhouse and a host of other items and soon, some vital life saving equipment.
As we say, help us support sport locally.