Last Friday night we headed west with high expectations of three points. Having successfully navigated Galway's notorious roundabouts (one passenger reckoned they were far too big and would take 30 minutes each!), we eventually landed at Salthill Devon's green oasis in the middle of a bog.
In fairness to the hosts they were the better side in the first half against a Town side minus five regulars. Absent for a variety of reasons were Wilo McDonagh, Brian McCarthy, Keith Gillespie, Mark Salmon and Gary Shaw. Indeed at the end of the first half we could have been at least two down but for the heroics of Chris Bennion in goals and one awful miss in front of goals.
Corrie Tracey was the first to suffer from the ref when he was dismissed for a second yellow on 48 minutes. The first yellow was harmless and the second was spotted from about 50 yards away. But as often happens, this setback spurred the visitors into action as we attempted to play some decent football on the tight pitch. It was De Town's best player on the night Willie Tyrell, who smashed the ball to the back of the net following a sustained Town attack. As the game wound down, some players got wound up and with only a handful of supporters present, every comment was audible. Salthill's O'Brien started shouting back at a few older Town supporters and duly got got booked for his vocal contribution. The hosts threw everything at us in the dying added minutes and everything included an elbow into the face of Chris Bennion. For his protests, he was awarded a yellow card. So instead of a free out, a corner resulted. O'Brien darted into the box, took a fall, which led to a shrill whistle, which led to a penalty which in turn led to us losing two valuable points. Then the ref blew for the final time.
In an effort to rub salt into our wounds, Salthill's O'Brien continued to sneer at us as he trotted to the changing rooms.
WATERFORD AT HOME
On Saturday night we have Waterford at City Calling Stadium, kick off at 7.30pm. Since last we drew down in the RSC, the Blues have been on a roller coaster. Their manager was dismissed and is now heading to the courts looking for seemingly non existent money. But on the field of play they're going through an excellent patch and now are in third place in the table, dangerously poised to make a break for the top. Saturday night's game therefore is hugely important to both teams. No Town supporter needs to be reminded of last season's second half.
Again, what we really, really want is a huge local support out in City Calling Stadium on Saturday night. Our following home game may be against a more attractive opposition in the Celtic XI but the game against Waterford is miles more important and one where we really want to see you.
PLAYER OF THE MONTH / JUNE
Not alone are we into the second half of the season, but we're now into the second half of the year. The flight of time is scary and there's nothing we can do to stop it. What this all means is that it's time to nominate your player of the month for June. The June award will be rather special as it's being sponsored by the family of our late Chairman, our great friend Brendan Turner. The trophy will be presented to the winner by members of Brendan's family before the game against Waterford on Saturday night. Please text your nomination and your own name to 087 9896269 before Wednesday night. And if you don't nominate, don't complain.
FIFA AT FOXES
Section O have organised a FIFA PS 3 Tournament for Friday July 5th at Foxes bar. Registration is at 7.30 with the first game kicking or clicking off at 8pm. Registration is only €10 per player and it promises to be a wonderful night's entertainment. There will be plenty of cash prizes and a few players have promised to turn up too so it really be a brilliant night . Fair play to Section O whose support for De Town continues to grow from strength to strength. They also have a superbly slick piece on www.ltfc.ie advertising the event. Support the supporters who support the club .
CELTIC XI V DE TOWN
Both time and tickets are going fast in the countdown to our friendly against the incredible opposition of a Celtic XI. Full credit to those who have worked again like Trojans behind the scenes to bring this much sought after clash to Longford. Many supporters of other more high profile clubs have been scratching their heads in awe at how we can land Man United and Celtic in consecutive seasons. It doesn't just happen by magic and there have been many man and woman hours spent beavering away far from the glare of the publicity spotlights. According to some well placed Irish based Celtic fans, this is going to be an unforgettable night at City Calling Stadium. Ireland based Celtic fans from all over the country are already snapping up tickets, so just make sure you're not disappointed by getting yours as soon as possible. Tickets will be available to puchase all this week 6-8pm at City Calling Stadium. Get out there early to avoid disappointment.
It's been a while since we've had a match at City Calling Stadium but the place out there has been far from idle. Emmet Ryan our dedicated Clubhouse manager has been extremely busy revamping the furniture, painting walls and installing some extra presses. Take some time to look around at his handy work and if you're sitting down, note how he has even changed the colour of the upholstery. Full credit too to our passionate supporter signing from Scotland, Bobby Stocks who has looked after work in the recently renovated Hospitality Room. St Mel's Cathedral might be the largest restoration project in western Europe but our own Refurbishment project at City Calling Stadium might be the biggest in the Airtricity league.
Just in case you haven't noticed how the league tables have changed since the resumption of the season's phase two, here's how it looks: we're on top with 30 points, next are our neighbours Athlone on 26, in 3rd place is Saturday night's opponents Waterford on 24 with their neighbours Wexford on 22. Slipping fast are Mervue on 20 while Finn Harps are now in the incredible position of 3rd last on 19 points. Cobh have 14 points while holding up the bottom are Salthill Devon on 10 points. Salthill aren't too bothered and their U12s are currently winning all before them in an international competition on the Arctic circle. Their two top players, the O'Gorman twins trace their winning roots to Ballymahon !!