Good evening ladies and gents and hello from the other side of the ground! The last two games have seen us once again take on two of the best sides in the country consecutively and although we came out the other side with no points, there certainly was some encouraging signs. Having said that, encouraging signs aren’t worth anything when it comes to points on the table and now as we face into the next 3 games against Limerick, Bray and Galway, it is time to make amends for that.
Two weeks ago the Champions Dundalk came to town, a team renowned for their attractive stye of football under the care of two former Town legends Stephen Kenny and Vinny Perth. It was nice to see the two lads being given a warm reception as they came out to applause in front of the main stand. Vinny even took the time to make his way over to give another Town legend Donald Keogh a quick grope before taking his position in the dugout while Stephen Kenny could be seen at the final whistle making his way across the pitch to give Section O a clap at full time. All this lovey dovey nostalgia is grand but in the end, we lost. Dundalk’s anticipated arrival for some Town fans was a strange mixture of fear and excitement. Fear as they were coming off an outrageously impressive 8-1 thrashing of Bray the week before but at the same time excitement as the quality on display was always going to be a long way from what we’ve experienced over the last 7 years.
Having said that, the Town held themselves well against the champions and in the end, the 2-0 scoreline did not tell the full story of the game. While managing to keep the League’s most famous player (for both his fantastic skill and hair) relatively quiet for the majority of the game, we showed a lot more of an attacking attitude from the off than we had in the reverse fixture up in Oriel in March. However with a team of stars by League of Ireland standards at least, it was only a matter of time before a player of the quality of Daryl Horgan punished us with a fantastic effort from outside the box midway through the second half. Town continued to push on for an equaliser but again the quality of Dundalk’s squad was clear to see bringing on the likes of last year’s captain Stephen O’Donnell and John Mountney with the latter putting the seal on the victory in stoppage time.
Next up was Tallaght on Friday night, a trip we had gotten used to by the end of last season after playing both their Senior and B Team in South Dublin’s (County Council) finest ground. Many of us fancied our chances against Rovers after our performance the week before, certainly more than most bookmakers did as we went into the game at 9/1. However our optimism was short lived as Rovers went ahead after just 7 mins silencing the vocal away crowd. Town once again soldiered on showing that they weren’t afraid to have a go and on the 31st minute were rewarded as former Rover’s favourite Pat Flynn headed in from a corner to equalise. The non celebration celebration where players despairingly react when they score against their former club is something discussed a lot in football these days. Brazilian footballer Hernanes recently described his somersault celebration against Lazio as a “sad somersault” to try and show some degree of sympathy for his former club.
Flynner did not feel the need to explain his tumble/roll after his goal on Friday but as far as we could see he looked more than happy to put it in his former employer’s net. Before the end of the half Town had two chances which will probably haunt most fans for sometime. Firstly Ricer teed up himself inside the box before shooting on the turn to put it narrowly wide in the 35th minute. 7 minutes later, a slip from the Rover’s defender allowed Shaw in one on one with the Rover’s keeper only to drag it slightly wide past the left hand post. As bad as these chances looked on the night, we would advice any Town fans who haven’t seen the replay on Tv to look away. Town would go on to rue these chances as Rovers came out the stronger after half time and went ahead from a set piece midway through the half. The biggest talking point of the match came shortly after that when Shaw looked to be taken down inside the box from behind as he wound up for a shot by Rovers defender Blanchard. The shouts were loud and came from all areas of the ground, in particular from our dugout as Cousins was sent to the stand (5 seats behind were he was standing) for politely explaining to the ref his alternative opinion to what had just happened. Town being denied a peno became even tougher to take as Rovers went up the pitch shortly after to go 3-1 up from another corner with the goal being scored by pantomime villain Blanchard who had been involved in the palava at the other end moments before. Kaleem Simon, spurred on from hearing his new chant (see below) got a late goal from some quick thinking inside the box but it was only to be a consolation as Rover’s held out, albeit nervously to hold on to their 3 points. For the second time in two weeks we left the ground feeling hard done by after playing a top team and although it was hard to take, a bit of perspective would suggest that we are not doing all that bad.
Now to do the business in the next 3 games starting tonight against bottom of the league Limerick. Limerick have had their fair share of problems both on and off the field this season. On the field as the table would suggest they have found it hard to pick up points, taking some heavy enough beatings while at the same time getting something from the likes of Dundalk and Rovers at home and ruining many of our accumulators. Last week they finally said goodbye and good riddance to Jackman park and with their exciting move to Market’s field imminent, their fortunes may soon change, let’s just hope it’s not this week.
All most all of the Soccer Republic pundits chose us this week for their last man standing competition on Monday night’s show and while we never feel comfortable agreeing with anything Damien Richardson says, we remain optimistic. A broken clock and all that…..MON DE TOWN!!
Chant of the Week
New chants haven’t exactly been plentiful so far this season and for any fans out there young or old who have some suggestions, please get in contact with us through our Facebook or Twitter pages below. Until then, here is a valiant effort from everyone’s favourite undressed ultra in tribute to the scorer of our second goal on Friday Kaleem Simon;
(To the tune of Dolly Parton’s Jolene)
“ Kaleem, Kaleem, Kaleem, Kaaaaaleeemm, I’m begging of you please don’t take my man”
Once again, an alternative to the second part is certainly open to suggestion!
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