SUNK IN COBH
Despite two losses in our previous two games, expectations were reasonably high for the merry bunch of hardcore supporters who made the long, long trip to Cobh on Saturday last. Cobh needed a win to keep in touch with Waterford who had dropped points the previous night. For De Town, Jack Brady started in goals with Dean Zambra taking the captain's armband and Alan Keogh making his debut. Davy O'Sullivan was on the bench after a long injury enforced absence. Despite plenty of possession, it was the hosts who broke the deadlock with a cracking free kick from 17 year old Cian Leonard just before the 30 minute mark.
We once again dominated possession in the second half and forced 8 corners but, sadly, no real attempt on goal. Cobh were relying on the counter attack and sure enough it worked for them as they secured their precious three points with their second goal from Murphy.
The facts speak loudest. We were the only team in the first division last weekend not to score or to get a point. The result leaves us in 6th or third from bottom. The only way is up.
This Saturday night, August 12th we welcome Premier side Sligo Rovers to the City Calling Stadium for the First Round of the Daily Mail FAI Cup. The game will be a welcome change for both clubs who are currently struggling with their respective league form. Sligo Rovers are second from bottom and along with Galway and Drogheda rest uncomfortably in the relegation zone. Should all three join us, it will lessen the countrywide appeal of domestic soccer in Ireland. But that's for an other day.
Manager Neale Fenn is appealing to the people of Longford town and county to come out in numbers to support our own and hopefully there will be a right good crowd getting behind the team from the kick off. Certainly Sligo will be bringing a large and vocal support as they view this game as an easy way to get back to winning ways and instil some lost confidence.
Older supporters will remember our famous Cup victory when we defeated a highly rated Sligo Rovers 2-0 at the Greyhound Stadium back in 1969. The only bit o'red seen then were the flames as irate Sligo fans burned their flags in disgust at being beaten by lowly Longford.
But of course we look on this 2017 fixture as a way to getting back to winning ways also. We know we're playing some decent football and have some skilful, hard working players and despite our lowly position we certainly can cause an upset. One young female supporter came up with what she calls her winning game plan for Neale Fenn “put Cowan in centre forward, he's bound to win a penalty and then when we score, just park the bus. Simple. Bring in on!”
If only it was that simple. Of course we'd love a win but we'd also love to see a massive local crowd turn up to support sport locally. So, if you haven't been to the City Calling Stadium for a while, make this this your return visit. You're guaranteed all the romance of the Cup in terrific surroundings. Sure what else would you be doing on a Saturday night.
Johnny Nevin has penned an evocative piece for the Cup match programme. In other words, pick up the programme as soon as you enter the grounds because they're sure to be collectors' items in the very near future. Ask Marty. Johnny Nevin is someone associated with Longford Town FC for longer than most can remember. But his first ever game was that famous Cup win over Sligo Rovers . Because of the hype leading up to that game, Johnny and a gang of his friends decided that the entrance fee was too high. So they hatched a plan to gain free entrance with an undercover approach from the canal. Despite their military style planning (gleaned from war comics), the boys' efforts were spotted which resulted in a wild dash back along the canal to try to get in the legitimate way before kick off. Johnny made it and has hardly missed a game since that first one almost 40 years ago.
In a week when almost 100,000 Irish soccer fans paid to watch Manchester and Liverpool play friendly matches at the Aviva and Jose Mourinho was quoted as saying “220 million for Neymar is not expensive”, some Longford Town supporters were standing for hours on the streets of Longford town begging for loose change. Last weekend was the annual street collection for De Town and despite the ever generous support, we probably couldn't afford to buy boot laces for Neymar. But we'll soldier on regardless and continue to support sport locally. A real genuine and special thank you to all the people who gave up their valuable free time on a bank holiday weekend and a huge and sincere thank you to all those who contributed in whatever way. Also a big thank you to the crew who were bright and early for the bank holiday Car Boot Sale (these notes are written prior to that event). Again, a huge thank you – you know who you are.
CLUBHOUSE VOLUNTEERS NEEDED
With almost all of the regular Clubhouse volunteer staff unavailable for this Saturday's night game, we urgently need some extra hands. Otherwise we'll be swamped under a mountain of tea pots and biscuit bars. If you can help out at half time, please give Brendan Finnegan a call on 087 9949995. The pay is zero but you'll be rewarded in sporting heaven.
PLAYER OF THE MONTH
Congratulations to Noel Haverty on being the Supporters' Club Player of the Month for July. Noel will be presented with his well merited trophy by Zara Finnegan Eddiouani before the game on Saturday night.
The Supporters' Club would like to extend its sincere sympathy to Mary Mc Kenna and family on the untimely death of her husband Stephen last week. We would also like to extend our condolences to the Civil Defence team, of which Stephen was a valued member. The genial giant was often on duty with the Civil Defence team at the City Calling Stadium and he'll be greatly missed. May he rest in peace.