MORE VALUABLE POINTS
Make no mistake about it, the win down in Wexford was only after an other tough enough battle. We had enough chances to be out of sight by half time but between their keeper Doyle, being in great form and the width of the crossbar we had to settle for a one all half time frustration. Still though, it came good by the final whistle which made the long trip home feel a few miles shorter.
Wexford may be in the so called sunny south east but on Friday night that seemed to be a misnomer. The heavy bank holiday traffic down was moving nicely until the M11 became the N11. But we survived that bottleneck to arrive on time in a rain sodden Ferrycarrig Park. If we had travelled cross country we'd have been lucky to make half time by all accounts.
From the first whistle Tony Cousins men went at their hosts like men on a mission forcing three corners in a row. Wexford's massive 6-0 win against Waterford was helped by some great breakaway goals and when their first long ball seemed dangerous, it turned out to be a disaster for the team in black and pink. Their captain Furlong fell to the ground between two Town players and when the ref waved play on, Furlong lost his cool with the ref who duly flashed a red card. Wave after wave of attack was mounted on the Wexford goal to no avail and the Town seemed intent on crossing rather than having a go. Colm James must have become a bit frustrated and send a wonder strike from all of 40 yards, only to see his effort come off the crossbar. However all the effort and hard work was rewarded when Purdy rose to head home following yet an other corner.
However the sweetness of the half time cup of tea was negated when Keith Gillespie was judged to have handled the ball and the resultant penalty was slotted home.
But this Town team are nothing if not determined and came out with all guns blazing in the second half. With our midfielders showing some lovely touches and generally controlling things, it looked like a goal had to come. Following a lovely intelligent headed flick from Kirbs, Birmingham maintained his cool to slot away what eventually became the winner. We had more glorious chances to wrap things up and we wondered if Shaw's glorious miss would cost us two points. As it was, it was the sending off of Keith Gillespie for a rash tackle that drew worried glances and furrowed brows. Like our home win against Athlone, we were made to sweat as the hosts came in search of what would have been an undeserved equaliser, buoyed on by their noisy support.
Overall it was hard won three points, but hopefully we'll see Austin Skelly back in the fray shortly as we could do with his guile and strength. Alan Kirby is certainly making his vast experience count and put in an other industrious night's work.We were the better team but how often have we come away not getting the result we thought we deserved.
It was a long drive home but the traffic was considerably lighter and amazingly as we came closer to home, the rain stopped. The feeling of being on top of the league and being the only unbeaten team in either division helped the long drive through a sleeping countryside. Thanks Brendan.
WATERFORD AT HOME
This Saturday night at Flancare we're hoping we'll have a great turn out to see the game between De Town and Waterford. Waterford might have started off suffering a 6-0 drubbing to their near neighbours Wexford Youths but since then they've gotten the train back on track. This game on Saturday night should be special for a number of reasons. We kick off as the only unbeaten side in either division in the League (when did that last happen Marty?) and Alan Kirby will be once again playing against his native Waterford. Remember the goal he scored against the Blues in the Cup Final and the dignified way he didn't celebrate. We'd all love to see him find the net again on Saturday night and to be on the winning side again too. Waterford are in 4th place in the tight table having scored one less than us but conceded seven.
One thing is certain, they won't have many travelling supporters despite the game being on a Saturday night. This is all the more reason for a good decent crowd to come out to support our own lads. An other thing for certain is that De Town will continue to play good, positive, ground football which is as good as you'll see anywhere. The evenings are stretching out nicely now and what better could you be doing than supporting your own local team. See you in Flancare.
Judging by the amount of cards being issued each week-end, you'd think there were brawls at every other ground each match night. Yet, as those who attend the games witness, week in week out, the truth is the exact opposite. At our last home game the ref saw fit to issue six yellow cards in what was anything but a dirty game. In Ferrycarrig Park on Friday last, the match official James Mc Kell seemed intent on issuing a whole Hallmark range of cards too. By the end of the game he had flashed three yellows and one red at the Wexford team and one of each colour at us.And again, it was a fair game game played in the expected spirit of the game. Both sets of supporters were unsure of what he might do next. Indeed one experienced observer wondered aloud if it wasn't an income raising exercise ordered from on high from those in green blazers.Desperate times and desperate means? Hardly though.
CAR BOOT SALE
Strict Leader deadlines mean that these notes must be in before we had our March 19th Car Boot Sale. But in anticipation of a good turn out, we'd like to thank everyone who supported the event. All you have to do is look around Flancare Park and see the facilities which are being improved constantly. These improvements are being partly funded by your continued support of the Supporters' Club and for that we're deeply grateful.Don't forget the Texas Hold 'Em in the Longford Arms this Friday at 9pm.
The Supporters' Club would like to wish a very happy and wonderful birthday to a special supporter, Gerard Killane who reaches the ripe old age of ten this Friday. As per usual Gerard will be at the game with is Dad and family on Saturday night and when you see him, make sure to wish him well. An other to whom we send our best wishes is Eddie Prunty who received a Cú Chulainn statuette last week to mark his retirement from An Post. The statuette has a depiction of the wounded Cú Chulainn being tied to a post, Eddie though won't need any such help, being one of the fittest An Post employees in the land.No doubt, he'll soon be seen as Eddie the Ballinalee Rocket.
Last week we saw the frightening collapse of Bolton's midfielder Fabrice Muamba as they played Spurs in the FA Cup. All humans are special but Fabrice , together with his family had fled war ravaged Democratic Republic of Congo and had arrived in England with not even a word of English. What an incredible life time achievement, he's had in such a short period of time. In the future his ultimate dream was to become a doctor. All interested in sport think of him and his family and friends at this difficult time.
Each home game we have a fully trained Civil Defense team on stand by together with an Ambulance should any emergency arise. Often we take their presence for granted. We shouldn't.
PLAYER OF THE MONTH
March is a long month as regards games and we have two left yet, home against Waterford 24th March and away in Terryland against SD Galway on March 31st. But it's time to get your thinking cap on for the coveted Player of the Month awards. The first award will be presented at our much anticipated home game Finn Harps way off on April 14th which will also herald our final game in round one. Times flies whether you're having fun or not.