In the lead up to this clash against Shelbourne many were saying that we had to win it. With only a point dividing the teams, we knew it was going to be yet another tough one. However, on a dry and windy night in front of a decent crowd, it was the visitors who were in complete control for most of the opening half. The wind seemed to be playing a role with many of our clearances going straight over the stand side line. They had a decent sized travelling support who were just waiting for their opening score. Luckily we held out till the second period but, truth be told, we went in lucky to be on level terms.
Whatever was added to the tea during the break had the desired effect.We played with greater passion and commitment and though a slighter side, no one was found wanting.Those three precious points seemed to have evaporated when a once favourite former Town player rose unchallenged to head Shels in front. The corner that led to their opening goal resulted from two of our own errors and you just hoped that heads wouldn't drop. Thankfully the opposite happened and the search for an invaluable equaliser became frantic. Dylan McGlade was tormenting the visitors with his silken skillsand at the same time encouraging louder support from the home support. Eventually after a super run, he unleashed a cracker to the left of the despairing Shels' keeper, who until then had denied us time after time.
There were chances by both teams to grab all three points but the crossbar denied the visitors while Sam Verdon headed wide in front of an open goal. We were hoping for maximum points before the game but most were happy with a share of the spoils and the renewed fighting spirit shown in the second period.
There's sure to be a large Longford Town travelling support. heading down to Athlone this Friday. The game kicks of at 7.45pm on Friday May 25th in Athlone Town Stadium. Our away form of late has been impressive but there can no slip-up on Friday if we're to maintain any interest in escaping from the lower division. Football can be a funny old sport but the last thing we want is for other teams to be laughing at us if we don't produce the goods against our near neighbours. It's only down the road so hopefully we'll see and hear a good Longford support support the red and black brigade.
Aodh Dervin was presented with his Supporters' Club trophy for being Player of the Month for April before last Saturday's game. Not only has the young lad broken into the first team, he now has become a regular starter. For us golden oldies who remember Aodh as a youngster continuously honing his skills, seeing his rapid improvement being recognised as April's Player of the Month was particularly satisfying. We wish Aodh all the best in his Leaving Cert next month and maybe it was ironic that a retired teacher from his school, Tom McGuinness who made the presentation.
Roddy Doyle made a bit of a stir when he wrote his novel The Van. However on a local sporting note, it's Andy Dardis who is certainly who is creating one almighty stir with his fabulously painted van, DeVan. For those who have yet to see the creation, Andy's van has had a giant club crest added to his already red van and all agree that it's simply magnificent. It was certainly turning heads on a sun drenched day at the photo shoot outside Esquires last week. One elderly lady from outside the county was heard to remark that the owner must be very religious “driving round with a painting of the cathedral on its side”. In actual fact, it's hoped that Andy will have whatever is the upcoming game adorning its side panels. As a piece of marketing, it's simply superb. Happy motoring Andy in De Van.
Red and black supporter Bobby Stocks certainly has green fingers. We're constantly being complimented for our facilities in the City Calling Stadium and this May, we're rightly proud of yet another colourful addition. Right round the concourse, Bobby has provided an array of multi coloured hanging baskets which are a joy to behold and certainly not something you'd see in too many stadia. Thanks Bobby, they're truly a sight for sore sporting eyes.
SPREADING THE WORD
It was a busy week for the local youth organisation The Attic last week. On Saturday night they hosted Hype which saw teens for all over the land arrive in town for a music fest. But earlier in the week, they hosted our management team of Neale Fenn, Daire Doyle and Ger Mooney. The three very wise men were guests of Longford Comhairle na nOg which was an outstanding success. Fair play, once again, to out over-worked chairperson Avril Gilchrist for organising it all.
GET WELL WISHES
The Supporters' Club would like to send get well wishes to Mel Devlin who is currently recovering in hospital following an operation. Mel, and indeed his entire family have been huge and loyal supporters of Longford Town for decades. Mel, we look forward to seeing back in the City Calling Stadium in the not too distant future. In the meantime, look after yourself – we miss you, we're all thinking of you and wishing you well.