We recorded one of our best ever winsand certainly one of our most important wins against Athlone, in Athlone on Saturday night last. To put in context, Athlone had only been beaten once at home all season, they are League champions, they had a massive home support and for them it was party time. They really wanted to cap off their excellent season with a comprehensive win over their closest rivals. On our side, we were forced to field a very young side, with the knowledge ringing in their ears that nothing less than a win was good enough. Elsewhere on the same night,Waterford and Mervue had easier ties and the three of us were fighting for those two play off spots. It all meant for an extremely tense night. The faint hearted could remain at home, praying.
Considering the circumstances, there was a fantastic Longford Town following with Section O singing their merry little hearts out and even winning over some Athlone fans for their attitude. But despite a determined start from the red and black, we went behind early to a superb goal and for some supporters heads dropped but only till the resumption. Section O actually intensified their efforts and the team did likewise. Within seconds, it was obvious that this was going to be one heck of a battle between the towns.
We played out of our skins and were creating plenty of chances. Eventually the incredible work rate paid off with none other than Gary Shaw scoring what one fan called “a genius of a goal”. Spotting their keeper off his line, he managed to head the ball over his head from outside the box. It was perfectly measured, it was a “genius goal”.
Gary Shaw, who had a superb game was also instrumental in the winning goal. He flicked a beautiful ball to Keith Quinn (who also had a fantastic game) who in turn found Ryan Connolly who powered a bullet of a header to the back of the net. The say that the travelling support was heard back in Ballymahon, would be accurate. Later Chris Bennion pulled off a breath aking save to keep us ahead which in turn kept us in the play offs. It was only one of a string of excellent saves.
When the final did blow, the relief and utter joy combined to create a feeling that lasted the entire week end. We left Athlone very happy and left their supporters to start their own deserved celebrations. Hearing that Cobh beat Waterford just added to what was a special night for the incredibly dedicated, well behaved and loyal Longford Town supporters.
A magnificent win for sure.
BUS TO MERVUE
As almost the entire county knows by now, we play Mervue this Friday night in Fahy's Field, Galway, kick off 7.45 in part one of the two part play off. The Supporters' Club will be running a bus but with a large travelling crowd anticipated, you'd want to book your place as soon as possible. Give Liam a call on 087 614 1926.
Longford Town have probably the best travelling supporters in the First Division and this is your chance to be part of that band of loyal Longford Town fans. It'll all help shorten the winter.
We already invited President Michael D Higgins to a game in City Calling Stadium but he was unable to do during the season due to his heavy workload. However, now that our season has been extended ,we intend to invite him for the second leg game against Mervue. We also will be extending an invitation to Bishop Francis Duffy. And of course, you're invited too.
BROWSING THE NET
As we know ell, the national media coverage of the First Division is quite poor to put it mildly. However all this might change of Mervue should win the play offs for a place in the Premier division. The FAI have already ruled that they won't be part of the set up next season, something that has spurred Johnny Glynn's team to having a wonderfully successful season. It's a pity then, that the online national soccer outlet, extratime.ie has been poor of late, both with match reports and good opinion pieces.
END OF SEASON AWARDS
Don't forget to be thinking about your end of season awards for goal of the season and player of the season. Text your nominations to 087 9896269 but we do realise we have a few games left yet, fingers crossed, four games. We may also add a Player of the Play Offs, so keep those eyes focused and sharp.
CAR BOOT SALE
With the weather being so good of late, it's easy to forget that the October /November Bank Holiday is fast approaching. That of course means our Car Boot Sale on the bank holiday Monday. So mark it in your diary, it promises to be massive.