CUP RUN DONE
Any dreams we might have had of a good Cup run , came to an end on a chilly night in the City Calling Stadium. Our visitors from the top division, Drogheda Utd., go into the next round on a 2-3 scoreline but not before a right good fright from a Town team which battled gamely to the end. With so many players out for a variety of reasons, this was always going to be an uphill battle. However, we played some excellent football and had a series of decent chances before the towering Brian McCarthy scored with an excellent header following a well struck corner. Most locals were very happy in the thronged Clubhouse at half time but knew that the kitchen sink would soon be heading in our direction.
The hard pressed Supporters' Club members were still tidying up when the kitchen sink did find its range and by the time we were pulling down the shutters, so too were Drogheda as they raced into a 2-1 lead all within a minute. The game itself was a full blooded affair and typical of so many Cup ties. Both teams played some great ground football with plenty of chances on both sides. Our hosts though went further ahead on the 73rd minute but that goal was aided by a blatant and deliberate handball. Following that score a few started to melt away into the night darkness trying to get on the road home before the crowd. But the players continues to fight bravely and in the first minute of four added minutes time Dereck O'Brien found the back of the Drogs net from distance. Suddenly panic swept through the claret and blue as the kitchen sink was re introduced, this time painted red and black. And with Chris Bennion racing goalwards twice in the dying minutes and Brian Mc Carthy being half an inch wide, the game ended with both sets of supporters on their seat edges.
But when the final whistle did sound, you could see the huge relief on the Mike Cooke's face. Former Longford Town manager, Stephen Kenny was an interested spectator from the stands who thoroughly enjoyed the Town's fighting spirit.
We played very well and considering we've only won game in our previous six, it was a positive performance that gave a lot of hope and confidence for what really matters...the last of the League games. So we're out of the competition we've won a few times. But as one wise supporter noted, had we drawn, it would have meant a tough game up in Drogheda on Tuesday before a more important game in Waterford on Friday. For many then, it was a game where really a good whole hearted performance mattered as much as a result. Our Cup run may be done but it's far from being the end of the world.
We face a mighty long trip down south to the RSC to take on Waterford on Friday night, kick off 7.45pm. We don't need any reminder of many times both teams have clashed and how many times each has broken the others heart. One thing we can be certain of , is that it's going to be one heck of a tough, tense clash. Victory for either side could decide second and third place. Though hard to admit, it looks like our noisy neighbours will become even noisier. The display against Drogheda gave many cause for optimism. Let's just hope and pray that our optimism is justified , we certainly could do with a change of fortune at this stage. Take care on the long trip south and make sure you've a full tank of fuel !
BUS TO WATERFORD
The schools are back and the evenings are drawing in, all of which means it might be easier to take the Supporters' Club bus rather than driving down to Waterford. The only away matches left in normal league time are games away to Mervue (27 Sept) and then finally Athlone (12 Oct), so this is our really last long road trip. But if the play offs beckon, then that's a different kettle of salmon. Contact Liam Healion on 087 614 1926 as soon as possible if you want to book your place. If we haven't sufficient numbers by Wednesday evening, then there's no bus going.
LOUD LOUTH PRAISE
There was a large travelling support down from Drogheda for last Saturday's game and most of them made their way to the Clubhouse at some stage. One young fan, when he saw we had a television, asked his Dad if he could watch the game from the comfort of the Clubhouse rather than heading out into the cold. They don't make them like they used to do! A considerable number of the travelling support were loud in their praise of Emmet's work in the Clubhouse and toilets and being from that part of the country, I suppose you could say it was loud Louth praise. (Don't worry, there's no pay for these notes ...the wit is simply priceless).
Last week there was a game between the U17s and U 19s at the City Calling Stadium. The game itself ended in a 4-2 win for the older lads which might be expected. However what was not expected was the incredibly high standard of football on display. The passing movements, goals and overall skill level was top class and gave plenty of room for great hopes for our future. Well done to all the players and managers concerned. The only pity was that not enough were present to witness the dazzling display first hand.
AUGUST PLAYER OF THE MONTH
No sooner is one player honoured with his Player of the Month award than we're thinking of the next month's award. Maybe because the weather has been so good but this summer seems to have sprouted jet engines, such is its speed. Our away game in Waterford is our final one for the month of August so that means that you'd better start texting your nomination for the August player of the month. You should know the drill by now. Text your nominated player's name along with your own name to 087 989 6269. The award will be made at our next home game which will be against Finn Harps, a team we've yet to beat.
A sincere thank you to all who have taken books of tickets to sell for our special Travel raffle or those who have already bought tickets. With €1,500 worth of Kanes Travel vouchers up for grabs, this is one raffle you won't want to miss, Tickets are a mere two euro or six for ten euro. No wonder the Drogheda supporters were keen to support the draw, they know a good bargain when they see one. The draw takes place on Sat October at half time, so time is running out already.
Thank you too to the collectors who stood up for the flag day collection last Friday and Saturday around the town. There was a terrific response from the hard pressed public and the only pity is that there weren't more collectors available. But again, thanks to both collectors and contributors.