On a wet and blustery night, Longford Town advanced to the semi finals of the FAI Cup by defeating Sheriff YC 3-1. Knowing that the awful weather could play into the hands of the visitors made a few supporters nervous before kick off. However, straight away De Town made their intentions known with David O'Sullivan coming close to opening the account within four minutes. Sully came close on a few more occasions with Kevin O'Connor and Stephen Rice also warmed the hearts of the local support with great efforts. Kevin O'Connor produced a man of the match display and along with Gary Shaw set up Sully who scored from 15 yards with just 25 minutes gone on the clock.
Despite being on the back foot, Sheriff got one back just before the half time whistle with an excellent long range strike. Most in the Clubhouse were dreading a replay as they warmed up with soup, tea and coffee but all were pretty optimistic of a positive outcome.
Two goals with minutes of the resumption settled nerves. Ayman Ben Mohamed restored De Town's lead less than a minute after the restart, racing through to drill a low shot to the corner of the net. Less than two minutes later, the impressive O'Connor threaded a terrific ball through for the run of Lorcan Shannon who did well to place his shot from the edge of the area into the corner to the sheer delight of the home support.
It was a clinical display by the Town which sees us enter the Monday morning draw for the semi finals and ultimately a place in the final. Not bad for a recently promoted side. Hopefully we'll see the return of some more supporters for our next round and indeed all the remaining league games.
We travel up the M4 on Friday night to face the other red and black outfit, Bohs. With the end of the league drawing ever closer and with so many teams around us fighting for each priceless point,each game is going to be like a Cup tie. Getting something out of Dalymount is a huge challenge but , if we're on our game, then anything is possible. Tony Cousins has said we need at least an other four to six points, so three up in Dalymount would be an excellent start to the run in. Hopefully many of our capital based supporters will head to Dalymount to cheer on De Town in the city. For those of us down the country who want to go by bus, contact Kieran as soon as possible on 083 1670304.
Ian and Caroline's niece Emily Kane, aged two, received a massive show of support on Friday night last when she was presented with cheques from the players and management as well as the Supporters' Club. Emily, from Drumlish who suffers from Histiocytosis is currently undergoing chemo treatment which will last an other two years. On Sunday last Emily had a fundraising walk in Drumlish which was attended by hundreds of people from near and far. Longford Town is proud to be associated with Emily, a true little fighter with a huge spirit.
Lorcan Shannon's tenacity, skill and dedication paid off last Friday when he received his player of the month trophy for August. And as if to prove that his recent goal scoring was no flash in the pan, up he popped with another great goal on Friday night. Congratulations, Lorcan.
The Stapleton boys were celebrating birthdays recently with Marty having a great night on Saturday night to mark a very special milestone. Marty has been picking up some gems of programmes recently, most of which are from a bygone era. However, there's one recent programme which he'd dearly love to get his hands on and if anyone can help, he'd greatly appreciate it. When we drew 3-3 down in Limerick recently, almost 2,000 people turned up for the game which was totally unexpected. The downturn for Marty was that the match programme sold out in double quick time and Marty was left with an unexpected gap in his 2015 collection. So, if you have one to spare, Marty would love to hear from you.
On Saturday last, a group of students who did the Leaving Cert in St Mel's College back in 1965 had a re union. Among the group were lifelong Town supporters Donald Keogh, Hugh Dolan and Kevin Deane who discussed the olden, golden days of De Town. Players' names to feature from then included Jimmy Dodrill, Ray Keogh, Jackie Lyons, Kevin Blount and Con Archibald. An other great Town supporter from those Greyhound Track days was Francis Quinn who unfortunately couldn't attend. The animated discussion of those Town days went into added time and way beyond.
FAI CUP DRAW
Well, the gods didn't exactly smile on us when we were drawn away to Dundalk in the semi final of the Cup. Bray were drawn at home to the winners of the Cork /Derry replay.