SECTION O SAYS HELLO
Hello all from the other side of the ground.
So, that second round of games fairly flew didn't it? Our trip to Derry on Friday 31st of July had 2 deflected goals in the first 20 mins killed us, deflating the players, bench and the 30 odd two. Fans who broke for the border that evening. As one of Section O's finest pointed out, Derry weren't that bad against Bohs a week previous, despite the 4-2 score line, and they gave us all manner of problems, controlling the midfield and allowing us nothing when we seldom attacked. We ended with just the one shot on target and truthfully it wasn't a great chance either. Derry got a slick third just to put a bit of gloss their performance deserved, and ours allowed them. Factor in a gaggle of Derry children with their incessant drumming and it was a less than desirable night all round. Fair play to Paul Hunt for walking the length of the pitch to gift his gloves to a young town fan and applaud the traveling support. More about him later.
Friday last in Oriel Park will without a doubt be a season highlight, probably of the last few seasons.
Again, about 30 town fans made the trip to Dundalk, and after some initial confusion regarding how the hell we were to enter Oriel Park (resulting in 2 Section O heads being led like bold children down the side-line before the game) we took our place in the luxury and comfort of Dundalk's away end. Ahem.
We started brilliantly, to the disbelief of those who had witnessed the debacles in weeks gone by. We were holding our own bravely, keeping Dundalk at bay and threatening to get in behind Dundalk's high line regularly early on. We had a great chance when the ball was pulled back to Lorcan Shannon who dragged a shot wide off his bad foot. Shawsy was again denied by Gary Rodgers from a corner, he's been Gary's nemesis in our games with Dundalk this season. It was a really great game up to this point, the town players playing with drive. Then the game was turned on its head. Despite the presence of 3 other Town players in 4 foot radius, Salmo was somehow judged to have been the last man and shown a red card by the referee. The fact our captain was applauded off by the home fans tells you enough about that decision.
We were devastated at this, we'd played so well to this point, and any team in the league who goes down to 10 with 50 minutes left against the champs on their turf would be bricking it. As you might expect we had much less of the ball in the second half, but for the first 15-20 minutes we were solid and kept Dundalk at arm’s length. As time ticked on, Dundalk started flinging on attackers and the intensity of their attacks increased (Seany Maguire put a chill down the spines of a few of us for his antics against us for Waterford). One thing that they (and us) hadn't factored in was Paul Hunt in between the sticks. He'd had a good game up to this point but then he went into overdrive, with arguably the best 20 minutes of goalkeeping you'd see in any league. Deflected shots were parried away, angles were narrowed, 3 shots from about 6 yards out repulsed. It was incredible. Dundalk's big chance game from a corner, Brian Gartland rose uncontested 7 yards out and connected with a header. It's moments like this your head does those “Rainman”-style nanosecond calculations: He's 7 yards out, couldn't have asked for a better ball, uncontested and he's been known to score in the past.
And he missed. Somehow, Gartland conspired to hit a bullet header right down Hunty's throat and he gladly accepted the gift. When it's your day, it's your day. Kevin O'Connor showed us what we were missing last week, Ricer was like a demon in the middle, Ayman was fantastic again (attacking and defensively), Shawsy won nearly all his headers, Shannon had his best game in some time, I could keep going here.
Safe to say, we celebrated like we won, and the delight from players and the bench was a glorious sight. Few better ways to hopefully put a bad run of form behind you, and a great start to the 3rd round of fixtures.
We've another tough test this Friday, as (Ringsend/Milltown/Drumcondra/Phibsboro/Ballsbridge/Santry/Inchicore) Tallaght's finest, Shamrock Rovers pay their second visit of the season to the City Calling Stadium. We’ve stuck in up to Rovers twice this season despite the lack of points, and with any luck we can do so again off the back of Friday's heroics. Ideally, that result will reinvigorate the area’s interest in De Town and get a bigger and more boisterous crowd out the Strokestown Road.
Unfortunately, due to a load of racists going marching in Birmingham on Saturday, Villa/United is live on Sky in a worrying sign of things to come (in relation to Friday night BPL games, not the racists). Hopefully the possibility of a Damien Duff appearance will even the odds…
CHANT OF THE WEEK
No contest on this one, dedicated to Paul Hunt after Friday:
"SUPA KEEPA, SUPA KEEPA, SUPA KEEPA"
New chants haven’t exactly been plentiful so far this season and any fans out there young or old who have some suggestions, please get in contact with us through our FB/Twitter pages below.
By the time you're reading this the football across the water will be back dominating our screens and pub-based discussions, bringing a new season of Fantasy Football with it. The Longford Town Supporters Club league is back again, after raising €300 last time out. The league is bigger again this year, a big thank you to all who are partaking. Fair dues to Supporters Club secretary Paddy McGarry for his organisation of the league. Enjoy your holidays Paddy.
2 away days in a week for Town next, 2 first trips to grounds too. Our first ever trip to Markets Field to play Limerick is on Monday evening (17th August), and following we that we have our FAI Cup 3rd round clash with Cockhill Celtic on Saturday 22nd up in Buncrana. We’re hoping to run a bus to both games, if interested text the outspoken ultra himself, Kieran on 0831670304 to book a place! (Please specify for which game you’re interested in)