Saturday night last against Waterford Utd turned out to be a real frustrating night. At least the weather had improved vastly on Wednesday night and the pitch was a credit to all concerned. It cut up pretty badly for the game against Millwall but you'd never have thought there was a game earlier in the week,such was the pristine state of the pitch.
Waterford are flying sky high at the moment and this was evident in the amount of travelling supporters who made the long trip. For them it was worth it as they headed home with three invaluable points. Not along that, but now they're within one precious point of ourselves with just one game left in July.
We started off very well in front of a reasonably good crowd and had the visitors pressed back in their own half.However we failed to make all of our possession count where it mattered most...on the score board.Just before half time,we did hit the crossbar and if only, if only. It appears to some that we're simply shy infront of goal and seem reluctant to pull the trigger.Our crisp passing also seems to have deserted us as does an overall hunger. But that's all easy to say, we're still very much in the hunt for promotion, let's not forget that. Most commentators had Limerick twenty points ahead at this stage but that's very far from the reality.
Most were reasonably happy in the Clubhouse at half time. Some were wondering where Gillespie and Skelly were because their old heads were sorely missed. We started off well in the second half but gave away a needless free from which we were badly punished. This was never going to be a high scoring game but in fairness, the lads grafted hard to try to earn what would have been a deserved draw. However, it was the man in the middle who ruined what remained of the game. Referee Sean Grant was quiet enough in the first half and indeed many said he should have seen a blatant Waterford hand ball. But his decisions simply went wild as the game went on. Noel Haverty, Tony Griffiths,Wilo McDonagh,Alan Kirby and Collie James all saw yellow while Collie James and poor Kirbs also saw red as did Ryan for Waterford. Now if it was a dirty game, it'd be acceptable that the ref had to be firm. But the worst decision of all for sure, was red carding Alan Kirby for alleged diving in the box. Alan Kirby doesn't go down, even when sometimes he should. He's well known as one of the fairest players in both divisions. Even some of the visiting staff said as much. It should have been a penalty, instead we paid a massively high price for inept whistling. When Kirbs' latest addition to the family appears and if it's a boy, chances are, he won't be christened Sean.
It was a frustrating night when we should have gotten a share of the spoils anyway. We're going through a sticky patch just now, just as Waterford did at the start. But it's along way yet to the end and we can be sure of many speed traps and a few pot holes before the final day.
MILLWALL IN THE RAIN
Despite the awful weather, a very good crowd turned out to see the game against Millwall on Wednesday night last. They brought a good few supporters with them which added to the atmosphere. Most commented on our wonderful facilities and all couldn't believe the rock bottom prices for tes and coffees in our Clubhouse. A few even threw in a few extra euro, thinking we were giving special visitor prices. They presented us with a lovely souvenir pennant which was already being displayed at half time. As a game, they were clearly superior and as a spectacle, it was an interesting night. If the gods had been kinder with the rain, we could have had a few hundred more but hopefully they'll have turned up on Monday to see the boys from Manchester. These lines are penned before that Monday game, so the report of sorts will follow next week.
AWAY TO SD GALWAY
Friday night is an unlikely tense game when we travel to Galway, this time to take on SD Galway. Last week-end, bank breakers Limerick only beat them by a single goal with mere minutes remaining. Or put it an other way, they're going to be a very tough nut to crack. But if we're serious about staying tops or thereabouts, we need to step up a gear or three and crack them. Remember we travel down to Limerick the following weekend. It just doesn't get easier. One thing we have in our favour is that we all know the team can play better. Friday night is bound to be a real cracker and now that most have their silage cut, maybe we'll have a few extra for a bus. So unless you have hay to save, contact Liam on 087 6141926 and as usual Wednesday evening is the cut off time.
With money so scarce these days,wasn't it lovely to see the FAI top man taking a generous cut in his salary. He took a whopping ten per cent decrease in his takings, which no doubt will add to his legendary status among the international travelling set. Next time in Serbia, his cult following will understand when he holds on to his leather shoes and green tie. Instead,understanding his massive latest salary cut, they'll simply gather round and sing “For he's a jolly good fellow” as he regales them with tales of how he could be earning much more in some other Fairyland Company. Meanwhile as volunteers and supporters of clubs countrywide go pub to pub on a weekend night selling Lotto tickets, they too will be singing his praises. And as our own volunteers stumble out of bed at 6am on a Bank Holiday Monday to set up the Car Boot Sale, they'll all be in agreement that existing on €360,000 per year must be really difficult. Thank goodness there was no free bar at this years FAI knees up...or was there?
PLAYER OF THE MONTH
July sees just one more game in what was hasn't been our best month. The weather and our points total both seemed to have taken a dive. However there have been some excellent displays on the pitch too and who'll ever forget that come back against Mervue. Anyway, being the end of the month, it's time to be thinking of our Player of the Month for July. As usual you can text the suporters' club hotline on 087 9896269 with your nomination and don't forget to include your own name too.
CAR BOOT SALE
Our next much anticipated Car Boot Sale will be on the August Bank Holiday Monday 6th at Flancare 10am-3pm. If all those ringing up and asking about it, turn up,then it's going to be colossal. You'd better start planning now.
Isn't it good to have some positive news for a change. Congrats are in order for our hard working Supporters' Club treasurer who won a car recently in the Longford Credit Union draw. No doubt he'll be adding it to his already expanding fleet of flash taxis whizzing round the street of town and county. And welcome home to Brian Donlon and family from far away Cork who'll be adding to the crowd at Flancare for a few games.