There was an autumnal feel to the evening on Saturday last with Salthill Devon making, what could be their last visit to the City Calling Stadium. When we last met, the Galway side snatched a draw with the last kick of the game from a penalty. We dropped two valuable points that night and heads seemed to drop afterwards too. So there was a little nervousness among the decent faithful who gathered for this latest clash.
Though we were one up at half time, through a penalty strike by Davy O Sullivan, we were far from convincing. Poor passing and tame shots had a few in the stand raising their hands to the rafters. And to add to our nervousness, Salthill had a few chances which they really should have put away.
Thankfully, we got on top towards the end with Sully and Josh O Hanlon getting three more (two each ) to send us home with renewed hope in our hearts. It could have been six or seven, Sully could have had his 3rd hat trick of the season, but a return to second in the table was all we could ask for. What was really pleasing about the game was seeing the faith of the supporters and the incredible work rate of Davy O Sullivan. Hopefully we can hold on him next season, because he's so much more than a goal poacher.
DROGHEDA AT HOME
Saturday night sees us host the 3rd round of the Ford FAI Cup against Co Louth opposition, Drogheda Utd. In our high flying days we had some memorable clashes against the Drogs and who will ever forget our Cup win against them on their own patch when Sean Dillon scored with a spectacular long range effort. Thank goodness for memories. This time round, Drogs arrive to the City Calling Stadium as raging hot favourites. Earlier in the season they demolished us but a repeat of that night is surely not on the cards. Mike Cooke was wined and dined by our club officials (a cuppa at half time) when he was on a recce mission at our game against Salthill and he still went home with a happy smile on his face. Drogheda hope to have about 300 travelling supporters which should add greatly to the special occasion. For us, it's a welcome break from the hard slog of the promotion dog fight but also a great preparation for the long trip to Waterford the following Friday. Wish list? Just to nick it with one late goal and to come away with no injuries. Over to you now God.
Of course you'd like to head to the sun as the evenings draw in, or even take a break closer to home. Well, don't forget our fantastic raffle where you could win a Kane's Travel voucher to the value of €1000 for a mere two euro. Tickets are on sale in the Clubhouse or from any committee member. There's a host of other prizes also. The draw takes place during half time at our last home game so don't be kicking yourself for forgetting to buy your ticket(s). Two euro each or six for ten euro.
The Supporters' Club would like to wish Emmet Lyons a very happy and special birthday this Wednesday. Like Cliff Richard, Emmet seems to defy ageing. One of the original Supporters' Club officials, Emmet is always ready to answer the call of duty when called upon. Have a great one, Emmet.
This Wednesday night, a number of the Town supporters will be making a presentation to GOAL following their Croagh Patrick climb on Reek Sunday at the end of July. Though not confined to the followers of the red and black, there was a huge representation from the club, showing the strong link between the two organisations. It is also hoped to present a Town kit which will then be sent to some needy children in the developing world. Already Longford Town kits have been brought out to the poorest of the poor kids in Sri Lanka, Uganda, Darfur and Calcutta. The presentation will be made at 8pm where we'll be told exactly how the money will be spent in providing a water and proper toilet facilities to a primary school in Calcutta. Light refreshments will be served and you're more than welcome, whether you climbed or not.
This Friday and Saturday you may see someone down the Town standing with a collection box. This time the charity is ourselves. Times are extremely tough but it's also extremely tough keeping the show on the road. And as all observers who visit the City Calling Stadium agree, we do have a pretty good set up. You have helped put it there and maintain it. Any contribution you can make will be greatly appreciated. And if you want to help out, give Carmel or any club committee member a shout.
There was yet another long article in a national newspaper making fun of the domestic game and even more fun of those who follow it...which means you and me. According to the piece we're heading to - “half football team, half stag party”. But it's so easy to knock any system. It's such a pity that those who poke fun at us don't or won't use some of their energy (and expertise?) at coming up with some positive alternatives. But I suppose, knockers just like to knock.