ANOTHER LATE LATE SHOW
Salthill Devon paid us a visit on a perfect Saturday evening to play on a perfect pitch and then almost went home with a share of the points. But this team of Tony Cousins' never gives up and with David O Sullivan's eye for goal, it was an ever later, late late show than the previous one. Phil Munnelly of City Calling Group and a huge Man Utd fan was present and despite all the late wins by his second favourite team, De Town's late late show had even him sweating. The amount of goals we've scored this season after 85 minutes is simply staggering. It's not good for the heart but the three points helped settle the racing ticker.
This game was never going to be a repeat of our first meeting when we won 5-0. This time they had a full squad to call on and their recent performances pointed to a side on the rise. Just how much they had improved was clearly shown , when on 24 minutes Curran let fly with a stinging dipping shot which smashed off our crossbar. We shouldn't need a wake up call but that was one clear call. In an evenly contested opening half, Daniel Purdy shone for the hosts. Just after the half hour mark, he brought a brilliant save from Keane, their keeper. But three minutes later, the same keeper could only stand and stare in awe as Purdy fired a 25 yard free kick to the back of the net to put us one up. It was truly a remarkable strike, which rose over the wall, then dipped at a vicious speed before nestling in the back of the net. Renaldo would have been proud and certainly the Waterford manager who was looking on from the stand was impressed.
But the lead lasted only a minute when we gave away a needless foul. The resultant free kick was headed to the back of the net, giving the visitors a confidence boost before half time.
The Clubhouse personnel were severely understaffed and full credit to Avril Gilchrist who stepped in to help the flow of tea, coffee and soup.
Thankfully, we came more into the game in the second period. With only 2 minutes gone, Willo Mc Donagh came close with a header and the same player almost broke the post with a powerful shot just before the hour mark. Daniel Purdy was having a very impressive game and after some excellent work, he found Gary Shaw in a super position who just had the bullet removed from his gun before he blasted. With the clock ticking away, Tony Cousins went for three up front as the hosts parked their bus in front of goals. Substitute Nkololo was on target with a well struck shot which the keeper spilled with David O Sullivan lurking like a Nile crocodile. We all thought Sullie had made the breakthrough but a very busy Salthill net minder Keane thwarted his ambition with a great save.
By this stage, a few supporters were heading for the car park, car keys dangling and mumbling about the loss of three points. Then on the stroke of full time, disaster almost struck when, completely against the run of play Salthill Devon had a superb shot brilliantly saved by Bennion.
When the fourth official showed four minutes remaining, some wondered if we'd even hold on to the point. Earlier the industrious Brian Mc Carthy had perfect goal ruled out and it was really looking like the visitors were going to frustrate us again.
Then in the third agonising minute off added time, Gavin Doyle found David O Sullivan inside the box. Cooler than a Lidl cucumber, Sullie created some space for himself, confused the keeper and with a sublime left footer let fly with a low shot which bulged the back of the net to the utter and sheer delight of team mates, bench and assembled Town supporters. It was another late, late winner and unlike many of the TV shows of the same name, this one was well worth waiting for.
It all meant that we're six points clear on top of the table and importantly gave us a well-timed confidence boost before the long trip down to Waterford.
Word has it now that Section O are going to request a statue of St David when the local Cathedral is restored.
BUS TO WATERFORD GAME
On this coming Friday we travel down to the RSC in Waterford to take on a resurgent Blues team. It's going to be a long journey with an extremely tough tie following the journey. Waterford are coming off the back of an extended unbeaten run and their one nil away win against Finn Harps was just the tonic they needed. Winning up in Finn Park is something that eluded us up there, so we know how fired up the Blues will be at home. They're rapidly climbing up the League table and their usual poor start is now well and truly behind them.
It promises to be a great game and you can be there by contacting Liam Healion on 087 6141926 as the Supporters' Club will be running a bus. The good news is that it should cost only €10, so if you have the time, we have the transport. And by the way, Liam is changing his phone provider, so be patient if you don't get him straight away.
CAR BOOT SALE
The May bank holiday Monday ,May 6th is our first summer Car Boot Sale at City Calling Stadium. Flicking through some local notes, there are many different charities and schools going to be present at the Car Boot Sale which will add greatly to the variety and top quality of goods on offer.
The Car Boot Sales continue to grow in popularity with more and more people making the short drive out to pick up some recession smashing bargains. With so many extra people now attending, please do follow the instructions of the stewards and if you have a stall, we'd ask you to take home any unsold items .Bank Holiday Monday, 10am-3pm, at City Calling Stadium, Strokestown Road, but do arrive early which is now the trend.
U -17 AWARDS
After the game on Saturday night, the U 17 squad packed into the Clubhouse for their end of season awards presentation. Following the senior team's nerve tangling late winner, there was a real buzz and it was great to see the entire team come in for the presentations. Their huge smiles spoke volumes about their shared releif at the tree points. The U 17 manager Jim Hanley was clearly proud of his charges and the hard graft of the management team. Tony Cousins was on hand to present the Most Improved Player award to Jason Nevin and the popular winner of the Player of the Year award was won by Cian Finnan. The awards were sponsored by the Supporters' Club.
Now that the Supporters' Club have their new, revamped headed note paper, an invitation to City Calling Stadium is to be sent to Michael D Higgins, President of Ireland. The President is a well known fan of the beautiful game and has already attended three games in the Premier League. Because he has always been a champion of various minorities, he just might be able to accept our invite to watch the red and balck in action. Of course, he's an extremely busy man but if you want something done, it's always the busy man who's asked. Here's hoping.
Best wishes to Mick “Spiv” Reilly, Congress Tce., Club vice President. Although, unable to attend matches of late, he's keeping up to date with all that's happening and is thrilled with how things are going. Another supporter, who is unable to attend but is also up to date with all games is Noel Nolan, Legan.
CLICK FOR PICS
Every now and then, there's a gallery of photos uploaded on the Club website of events off the pitch. There's photos of everything from the press box to ticket sellers, from the shop to the Clubhouse and of supporters from 7 to 70 and all ages in between. To see your pic, just click www.ltfc.ie .
The Supporters' Club would like to offer its sincere condolences to loyal supporter Louis Belton on the sad and untimely death of his brother Paddy. May he rest in peace.