Saturday night's game against Cobh at the CCS was a real character tester for both team and supporters. Cobh travelled north fully intent on causing an upset; four points from six in their previous two games meant they were high on confidence. From the kick off we took the game to them but still failed to make our superiority count. When they went one up after 20 mns, the silence in the stadium was deafening as a few home stomachs churned. It took an other twenty minutes of frustration before Stephen Rice took the game by the proverbial scruff of the neck and bustled his way past a few Cobh defenders to launch a Ricer special to the back of the net.
The talk in the busy Clubhouse at half time revolved around our ability to press on and secure all three vital points.
There was barely an hour on the clock when the terrier like Lorcan Shannon sent in a curling cross which deceived everyone before nestling in the back of the net. After his goal, my man of the match, Lorcan raced to the stand exhorting the crowd to more noise and more passion. But then, it looked like disaster had struck. Following some poor defending, Cobh capitalised and smacked home an unlikely equaliser.
With the time ticking away, it looked like the Shels supporters would be celebrating as they watched on line. This was a character test we could have done without. If a few supporters doubted, no one told the players. Following a fantastic lead up, Peter Hynes smashed home a fabulous goal which their keeper never even saw. The CCS erupted. Hynes was on for an injured Gary Shaw and for his time on the pitch made a significant difference which even included two brilliant back passes. But Cobh refused to lie down and die until four minutes from time when the industrious Mark Salmon popped up with goal number four which calmed beating hearts and sweaty hands.
By the final whistle, the players and management had surely passed their character test with flying colours. Meanwhile, we the nervy supporters got the heart rate back to normal before managing a smile of relief. Three valuable points and three games left.
Friday September 26th sees us make the long awkward trip down to Waterford's RSC where we take on the Blues, kick off at 7.45. Games between the two teams have always been tight, torrid affairs and this promises to be no different. Waterford, no matter where they are in the table always seem to rise their game when faced with the red and black. Despite the long journey, there should be a very good crowd travelling south to continue the magnificent support both home and away. Contact Kieran Burke on 083 167 0304 to book your seat on the bus, but do so as soon as possible please.
There were two very different moments at the Cobh game when the large home crowd showed true respect. One was when their injured and bloodied player Rocks was being led away by the medical staff, he received a loud and sustained round of applause. The spontaneous act of respect was noticed and noted by Cobh Ramblers FC who immediately tweeted their acknowledgement of same. Later when Lorcan Shannon was being replaced, he was given a standing ovation. He certainly deserved the show of respect and it was a lovely gesture to see the crowd on its feet acknowledge his Trojan effort.
Last week there was an international in Prague between the Masters (Golden Oldies) of the Republic of Ireland the Czech Republic. Longford Town was very well represented with the inclusion of four players on the squad: Paul McNally, Rickie Parsons, Brian Byrne and Seanie Egan. Thanks to our own Master of stats Marty Stapleton for the information.
The Supporters' Club would like to send best wishes for a speedy recovery to Frankie Flaherty who is recovering in hospital following an illness. Frankie, of course was a talented player with De Town before going on to become Chairman of the club.
Well done to the organisers of the fundraiser at the Longford Greyhound track last Friday night. It was encouraging to see so many support the under age fundraiser when they knew, they'd be out again in the CCS the following night. Section O were high profile and obvious supporters and it was great to see the U19s and Mark Connors present also. Overall it was a great night's entertainment with a terrific atmosphere and the Track management were thrilled with the crowd too. Winners all round!
The cream of Ireland's young soccer talent will be on view in the City Calling Stadium next Saturday night when the Republic of Ireland U17s take on Scotland. We don't know how Bobby Stocks voted in the Referendum but we can guess which side he'll be shouting for on Saturday night. On this Wednesday afternoon, Scotland face Gibraltar, kick off at 3pm. It's a huge honour for Longford Town FC to be hosting these internationals and hopefully they'll be well supported.
PLAYER OF THE MONTH
Our away game against Waterford is the last one for October which means Player of the Month time again. After the game, text your nomination along with your own name to 087 9896269. Presentation will be made at the Shamrock Rovers B game.
MORE LOOM BANDS
The red and black loom bands made by Alicja and Zuzanna Pawelec, sold out within minutes once again before the Cobh game. The talented sisters hope to have some ready for the underage International game on Saturday night and certainly there will be some available before the game against Shamrock Rovers B in early October.
THE RUN IN
In the unlikely case that you're not sure of the remaining games for the two top teams, here's how it stands. We play Waterford away, then Shamrock Robers B at home and finally ( hopefully ) Finn Harps away. Shels face Harps away, Galway at home and then Cobh in Cobh. Prayer time.