De Town remain top of the League following the scoreless draw at Tolka Park on Friday evening. The game was brought forward to a 5.45pm pm kick off due to problems with the Shels floodlights, the same problem saw their Cup game on Tuesday night postponed.
Scoreless draws sometimes means a boring match but not this top of the table clash. It was a vital game for both clubs and one which Shels really needed to win. Played on a windswept and wet evening in front of almost 800 fans (a large proportion from Longford ), the game was certainly not lacking in drama. Both sides had chances with Shels hitting the post and then one of their players heading over from what looked was a certain goal, following a 25 yard volley. We too came close especially with efforts from Shaw, Hynes and O’Connor. The very vocal travelling support certainly played their part and it was they who were clearly the happiest when the final whistle sounded. It was a hard fought, dogged battle and to come away still three points clear, another clean sheet and with a vastly superior goal difference made for a relaxed and early trip down the M4.
WEXFORD YOUTHS AT HOME
This Saturday night we host the Youths from Wexford at 7.30 pm which is the first of three games at home (St Pats the following Tuesday and then Cobh on Saturday night week). Once again, this is going to be a dogged battle. Since they pulled two back against us in the last game, the Youths have been brimming with confidence and their manager says that they're afraid of no one as they go in search of a promotion spot against Galway FC. We haven't played at our true potential since we whacked both Shels and Galway 3-0. With just five games remaining, hopefully our scoring touch will return to ease some nervy older supporters. The travelling support has been simply superb all season but we still could do with more support at the City Calling Stadium. With no Little Mayo this year, it's surely time more local people came out to support Longford Town.
PLAYER OF THE MONTH / AUGUST
Steady, cool and intelligent with a knack for making vital and timely tackles, Pat Flynn is our player of the month for August. We've had a wonderful amount of clean sheets so far this season which has have to be attributed to a team effort but a vital and sometimes quiet cog in that wheel is this month's worthy winner, Pat Flynn. Pat will receive his trophy before the game on Saturday night from a member of the Supporters' Club.
Tolka Park was once one of the finest venues for followers of the domestic league. How times have changed. On Friday evening last, it looked like a patient on life support. Weeds flourished on the unused concrete steps, gutters dangled dangerously in the wind, the stand roof leaked and the entrance to the away toilets was flooded. And then the floodlights went off and then came back on again. In an effort to raise funds, we were charged fifteen euro entrance for the privilege of entering the sad state of Tolka Park. Paul Doolin sat with Donald Keogh during the match and it would have been interesting to have heard his comments on the sad state of Tolka Park.
A Longford Town supporter was up early on Saturday morning last or was texting from the comfort of his bed. “Congrats to De Town who lit up a dark Tolka Park last night” was the jist of his text which was read out on RTE Radio 1 before 8am. Later in the afternoon, RTE Sport on Radio 1 was again texted on their excellent coverage of the American colleges' football but wondering about the lack of Division 1 coverage at home in Ireland. That text wasn't read out.
CHANGE OF PLAN
Just 24 hours before kick off, texts were flying all over the place informing travelling supporters of the change of plan. Due to floodlighting problems the FAI had brought forward the kick off time to 5.45 on Friday evening. Two buses had been ordered and all seats had been filled. Imagine the nightmare Kieran Burke had in trying to contact everyone and reorganising the schedule. Many obviously couldn't make the earlier time and unfortunately one bus had to be cancelled. If the plans of the travelling supporters had been upset, can you just imagine how difficult it was for the team and management. In the circumstances, huge credit is due to Kieran Burke for his exceptional skill in logistics under severe pressure. The hard pleased, elder lemons on the bus were suitably impressed anyway!
Happy Hols to Mags and Liam who jet off to Sicily after the Wexford Youths game. It's not the first time they'll be missing a Cup Final in which De Town played. Just as well the price of texting to foreign lands has been reduced!