SUPER SUB SHAW
We had the perfect start to our League campaign last Saturday night coming away from Mervue's Fahy's Field with all three precious points thanks to a 73rd minute goal from Gary Shaw. It's only when you travel to other grounds that our own is appreciated. Finding Fahy's Field in a town more noted for its dare devil roundabouts than its signage, is a task in itself. Set among apartment blocks, rows of houses and creches, its location is certainly ideally suited for locals to walk to.
However on a cold windswept night, many locals decided to stay by the fireside with about 300 turning up their collars before turning up themselves.
According to many, Mervue are tipped to be the surprise package this season. But from the kick off this seemed to be overly optimistic because most of their balls seemed to be heaven bound. In fairness they were minus about five of their starting eleven due to suspensions and injuries. The only talking point in the windy first half was the ref Darren Coombes who twisted his ankle and went down like a sack of heavy spuds. It was odd hearing the shrill blow of the whistle but being unable to see the blower ! At least he was able to call for help and was duly replaced by Robert Harvey the fourth official.The first half was far from pretty but the Town did manage a few golden chances most notably from Gillespie and Austin Skelly. For the hosts, Nkololo seemed to pose the main threat and Hyland made a good save from his best effort. After that, the tricky winger was well contained.
Longford Town moved up a gear in the second period and kept the ball of the ground, played some lovely football. What was also a delight to see was their tackling back, if the ball was lost. There's a real sense of commitment evident this season. Again we created plenty of chances with Salmon, Kirbs, Crawley all going close. When Gary Shaw was introduced, his impact was immmediate, just like in the friendly against Sligo Rovers. When it looked like a draw might be the result, up he popped the red headed Shaw with a neat flick from a corner, though others still maintain, it was following a long throw from Crawley.
Having gone one down, Mervue upped their tempo and with the help of the ref put us under non stop bombardment from frees and corners, some of which came from god knows where. There were a few heart stopping moments, including a clearance off the line but when that final blew, suddenly the wind and cold didn't seem to matter so much.Not pretty but three points secured.
In the continued work of selfless research for the travelling supporter, we travelled over via Roscommon and back by the motorway and as one wit summed it up “the way home is the way to go”.
ATHLONE AT HOME
This Saturday we entertain near neighbours Athlone at Flancare, kick off 7.30. The game will be preceeded by a minute's silence in memory of our former President and Supporters' Club member, John Donlon as well as our other friends who have passed away since the end of the last season.
Athlone had a great start to theor season also winning against opposition from Galway, Galway SD.
Local derbies are always passionate affairs especially when some players have donned their opponents jerseys at some stage.
Hopefully the pitch will have dried out and if so, should suit our slick passing game. What we really need is a good crowd coming out to support our new look team. They have put in a massive effort in pre season and all who have seen them, think this is the best squad we've assembled in ages. But support is vital. They deserve a decent crowd and hopefully we'll see you there. There's nothing quite like the real thing up close and personal and at just €10 for a wonderful night's entertainment in top class facilities, you can't afford to miss the clash of De Towns on Saturday night.
Hearty congrats to Paddy and Liz Conway on 34 years of perfect wedded bliss. The happy couple celebrated before the season kicked off so that no one would be missing a game. Now that's what's called forward planning Tony Cousins would be proud of. Thirty four years later,and Paddy is still smiling, no wonder he's called “Happy”. Congrats to you both.
CAR BOOT SALE
Don't forget our next Car Boot Sale which takes place at Flancare on Monday March 19th, 10-3pm. With the recession continuing to bite ever deeper, don't be surprised if you see Enda Kenny's merc pull up as he makes his way back to Leinster House after his week-end break to Castlebar. Every single Car Boot Sale seems to throw up some extraordinary bargain so don't be left out of the loop.
TEXAS HOLD 'EM
Following on from our successful first Texas Hold 'Em last Friday night, we're hosting an other one this Friday night 9th March in the Longford Arms Hotel, starting at 9pm. Some supporters who travelled to Galway obviously couldn't make both events, but this Friday night sees an opportunity to rectify that clash of dates. See you in the Arms at nine.
All the pundits were predicting an easy ride back for Limerick to the top flight this season. Well, pundits can get things so very wrong and this was almost proven when the high spending Limerick outfit just about outscored a brave Finn Harps side 2-1. Many have Waterford as runners up to their Munster opponents but that too came unstuck when they were hammered 6-0 by Wexford Youths, a team that's supposed to be struggling. Three soccer writers including our old friend Roddy Collins have us finishing second and with Mervue as a surpise package. But as Friday night showed, nothing, absolutely nothing is certain in sport. And that's why we love it, isn't it !
If you're in Flancare for the game against Athlone, please come into the Clubhouse and join the LTFC Supporters' Club. By supporting us, you're supporting the team and club in a myriad of different ways. We make sure you have a warm comfortable, friendly and efficient Clubhouse, we organise the monthly player awards, the end of season awards, various fund raisers during and after the season, buses to away games, these world-wide read notes and that's all before breakfast on a Monday! We have cut the subscription in half to a mere ten euro and for that, you are helping us support your team, our team, our local team. As we say all the time, “Longford town, without De Town, is simply unthinkable”. We do need your support.
ZEALOUS GUYS ?
Are you just a zealous guy? Last Monday in the Irish Times' Sport News, Brian O Connor in the column Tipping Point, wote a nasty little piece concerning League of Ireland fans. The headline was “ Average League of Ireland fan just a zealous guy”.The article itself was less than average.
He maintains that the “depth of media coverage is the envy of many other sports”. I searched his paper in vain for even the result of our game against Mervue. Some depth of coverage there.
“The reality for the majority of football fans in this country is that domestc fare remains pretty much an irrelevance” is an other bitter little quote. The column is largely along those nasty, negative lines and he ends by asking if anyone has the number of a security firm. Persumably he was anticipating an avalanche of replies from offended follwers of the domestic league. But thankfully there wasn't even a line in reply. Obviously his article was deemed as “pretty much an irrelevance”.