It really was like the good old times with large crowds converging on the City Calling Stadium from well before the 7.30 kick off. With an attendance of about 2,000 the scene was set for our first home game in the big time. The previous week, we had showed terrific fighting spirit despite going down by a single goal to Dundalk so more of the same spirit was expected. Our visitors, despite their win against St Pats were no world beaters.
Chances for the home side were few and far between and when, early on, Gary Shaw's effort was cleared off the line and our genuine appeals for what looked like a clear cut penalty were waved away, the omens looked bad .Meanwhile at the back were under a lot of pressure but were doing reasonably well until a shot from distance found its way to the back of the net much to the delight of the flare lighters. If only we could have held them to a single goal, it was felt we could regroup at half time. But Shamrock Rovers went further ahead just before the break following a jinky run and good finish.
Despite some changes in the second half, we never really threatened their goals which was a pity because their defence didn't appear to be rock solid. And so it ended, a two nil home defeat and none scored in two games. Pat Sullivan was sorely missed but hopefully his new marital status will inspire him to even greater heights on his much anticipated return.
Our two opening games couldn't have been against tougher opposition barring Cork City. The standard is higher than what we've been used to but hopefully lessons will have been learned and that the points can start coming very shortly.
Full credit to the many stewards and those who organised our first night back in the big time. Everything was well organised and efficient which drew many plaudits from our visitors and a few new local converts.
THREE HUGE GAMES
There's no let up now as the games come quick and fast. First we head south to face Limerick this Saturday evening which has the early kick off time of 6.30. Limerick haven't had the best of starts either and are rooted to the bottom of the league. But they're looking to a win over us to get their first three pints, but then we're looking to this game for three points too. It's important that we get something early on so that we don't have the same start as our near neighbours last season. Give Kieran a bell on 083 1670304 as soon as possible if you're interested in booking a seat on the bus to the game.
Tuesday March 24th sees Bray visit the City Calling Stadium with an 8pm kick off. Again, this is a game that's hugely important for those hard earned points. We'll hardly win the league this season, but we need to do well against teams around us. Our final game in March is over in Galway against the Tribesmen which will be an other tough ninety minutes if last season's games are anything to go by. But, excusing the pun, if we get nine points from these three games, then we can surely march proudly out of March.
CAR BOOT SALE THANKS
A massive thank you to the small army of people who make the Car Boot Sale happen. It all starts before dawn when most of us are still in dream land. Later when many are drowning the unfortunate shamrock, there's an other group out at the car park picking up the litter. We can always do with more volunteers, especially at 3pm. Don't wait for an email or a text, just turn up and you'll be as welcome as the flowers of May.
Despite his wisdom and great deep knowledge, it's hard to believe that Kieran Burke is still only a young lad. But with his 21st looming large, KSB will soon be accepted into manhood. Happy birthday Kieran and hopefully you'll have enough energy to blow out the forest of candles. Belated happy birthday to an other super supporter Robert Farrell who has a side line view most home nights and which explains his superior insights to all things red and black. Happy birthday lads.