DREAM STILL ALIVE
Despite going down 0-1 to Mervue last Friday night,our dream of promotion is still alive. Fahy's Field saw its biggest crowd ever with 607 punters stretched all round the quaint pitch, about half of the crowd having travelled from Longford.The Supporters' Club had to change their bus size three times and ended up filling a 50 seater, the first time in six years.
Although noisy on the way west, Section O were silenced just before the quarter hour mark when the hosts went ahead following a superb 30yd yard strike from Jason Molloy. The energetic and skillful Mervue side really took the game to us and to be honest they could have been two or three up by twenty minutes. Things then went from bad to worse, when Town captain Corie Treacy, following a rash tackle , was shown a straight red by the bearded ref. By now, it sounded like Section O had joined a silent group of monks. However, a glimmer of hope appeared when Ryan Connolly smashed an effort off the crossbar. The goalposts are only a set of mobile ones and the entire frame was still shaking and shuddering two minutes after his strike. Despite that near strike, we never threatened again in the opening half and were content enough to be drinking their half time tea (€1.50/cup) just that one goal behind.
The half time chatter agreed that Mervue were playing much the better football and that we'd be very lucky to maintain that one goal difference. Tony Cousins rejigged the set up during the break and despite having about 80% of the possession, Mervue just couldn't get that all important second goal. As the clock ticked down, their support started to get edgy as they tried time after time to walk the ball into out net. In added time, we almost went to heaven when , following a free from Ryan Connolly, Gary Shaw struck the crossbar but it wasn't to be. The entire second half was a huge improvement on the first for us and when the final whistle sounded, it appeared that we were the happier side heading to the dressing rooms.
Chris Bennion had an other superb game and couldn't be faulted for the goal. David O'Sullivan ran his socks off in his usual honest game and was a threat any time he received a decent ball. Mervue are suspect enough at the back when run at, but unfortunately we didn't have that opportunity too often.
And so to the second leg. It's going to be tough, very tough.
MERVUE AT HOME
Remember the second leg of the play off is this Friday night,kick off 7.45 and not Saturday night. This is probably our most important game in years and certainly the most important game yet this season. A huge Longford Town support made the journey west last Friday night but hopefully, we can have our biggest crowd of the season at home this Friday night. Mervue won't be bringing too many supporters as usual. But their team are used to that and will be extremely difficult to beat. They're on an extraordinary run of wins now, having won their last seven games. But it has to come to an end some time and when better than on Friday night. As anyone who has seen them this season knows, they're fearless and possess a degree of confidence which demands respect. Agile, skillful and supremely fit, it's going to be one heck of a game and certainly don't rule out the possibility of added time and the awful penalty shoot out. One thing for sure is, that is going to be a game not to be missed by anyone even remotely interested in sport. When the FAI announced that there was only going to be one team in Galway next season, it only served to spur on Johnny Glynn and his team. Tony Cousins doesn't need any spurring.
This is it. This is the big one. We need you there. Be sure your heart is in good working condition though.
CAR BOOT SALE
On a totally different note, the Supporters' Club will be running its final Car Boot Sale of the season this bank holiday Monday 28th October. As usual it takes place in the car park of the City Calling Stadium from 10am-3pm. However, if you want to set up a stand, You'd want to be out early as every event now seems to start earlier with some very early birds. Whether it's the location or the timing or both, but our Car Boot Sale is now as good as any in the land and if you've never been, then this bank holiday Monday is your big chance.
Shane Barrett, formerly of De Town cracked in an early goal while playing in the Meath Co Gaelic Final on Sunday, but he was only following in the footsteps of an other ex Town player Andy Moran who did similar for Mayo on a bigger stage. Meanwhile over in Scotland, an other ex Town star Sean Dillon, tops team appearances for non Scottish players with Dundee United, while down south David Mooney's star continues to rise and was featured recently in Telegraph newspaper, complete with action photo. And how many spotted Januzaj's talent on that wet night when we played the Man Utd youth outfit out the Strokestown Road.
Congrats to Josephine Glancey who celebrated a birthday recently. The years take their toll on the rest of us, but Josephine still looks as young and fresh as a daisy.
Eamonn O'Donoghue, formerly of RTE's MNS was an interested Town supporter at the away game in Mervue. Eamonn is now working in Scotland and made the trip over especially for the game. He can't come over this Friday night but will be keeping in touch via twitter etc as will Padraig Stapleton in London.
David O'Sullivan and Noel Haverty both made the Airtricity First Division team which is a well deserved honour for both players. Sully was also really chuffed with his nomination as Player of the Season.
PLAYER OF THE PLAY OFFS
If we succeed on Friday night, the Supporters' Club will be awarding a special trophy for Player of the Play Offs. Already , with just one game over, a good number of players are already in the running. Hopefully that run will extend to games against UCD or Bray or even Bohs. Friday night is going to be one heck of an interesting night for at least five clubs.