Following a balmy spring day, De Town produced a stunning spring show to light up the evening sky. Waterford Utd were our latest opposition and by all accounts, our toughest yet. However Tony Cousins' men made no secret of their intent and from the kick off tore into the Blues with a dazzling display of attacking football. Their upbeat tempo was rewarded straight away when, after just two minutes Colm James found the back of the net from the edge of the box.
Some fans were still taking their seats as the goal stunned a decent travelling support from the south east, indeed many of the Waterford team appeared just as stunned. Memories of their recent 6-1 drubbing by Wexford Youths must have been on their minds. The Town totally dominated the half with some breath taking passages of play, which involved crisp accurate passing as well as determinded tackling and no little skill. It was a joy to watch, helped greatly no doubt by the perfect pitch and weather conditions. The only drawback was that we didn't score again before half time despite numerous close shaves.
Once again the Clubhouse was packed at half time but with our full compliment of staff back in action, we think we coped very well. Once again, the fresh sambos proved to be a huge hit and sold out in double quick time. All of the chat was positive but everyone would have liked a second goal to steady nerves.Little did we know then just how tested those nerves would be in the second half.
The Blues came out like a totally different team after the break. Maybe they sipped their tea from Waterford glass but something provided them with a pep in their step. Given far too much space, the visitors scored a magnificent goal from about 35 yards to draw them level with 30 minutes remaining.
At this stage, we seemed to be tiring a bit which is understandable, given the first half workrate. However, the supporters' heart rate was now starting to increase as Waterford grew in confidence. But the Town had both hope and Hope and it was a toe poke from Hope that restored the heart rate , just two minutes after their equaliser. At this stage, and with almost 30 long minutes remaining, the intensity seemed to be increased by both sides. The Blues introduced two boy like subs but it transpired that they had recent international experience and boy did their confidence show. It was now end to end fare and with both sets of supporters finding their voice, the tension was soaring. The players responded and suddenly all the banter in the stand evaporated as we found ourselves clinging on the edge of our seats.
The old reliable Kirbs found Hope with a perfectly struck free kick and it was Hope who again restored hope with a wonderful header. 3-1 up with ten minutes left, surely they'd lie down now. Surely, we could now sit back and enjoy the last few minutes and let the racing hearts settle a bit.
Instead, Waterford upped the tempo yet again and they piled on the pressure. Craig Hyland ,in goal, once again came to our rescue with a series of superb saves. At the other end, Karl Birmingham was yellow carded for a tackle on their keeper. It was a rare mistake by the ref who should have punished the keeper who actually handled the ball outside his area. The drama was simply non stop. Despite the frantic and animated urgings of Tony Cousins, we sat back in an effort to soak up the expected onslaught. Mistake. Once again, with one minute left of ordinary playing time, they were afforded far too much space in the middle of the park and again they unleashed an unstoppable rocket which screamed in to the back of Craig Hyland's net.
It may be only our second home game of the season, but you'd be forgiven for thinking it was a Cup Final such was the incredibly tense atmosphere as the noise levels rose and rose. Understandably some couldn't even watch the final added minutes as Waterford pressed non stop for the equalising goal. As the ball bounced round our goal mouth, a shrill cry of “penalty” rang out. Fortunately the ref didn't concur and his next whistle was the final whistle.
After the game, you could see the unconfined joy etched on the faces of players, subs and management. Joy, relief and sheer pride and boy, did they deserve it. Some visiting fans said they thought they deserved a draw. They certainly played their part in a pulsating game but in fairness it was a pulsating win in a game in which they worked extremely hard . You'll be happy to hear that the heart beat has returned to normal.
AWAY TO SD GALWAY
On Friday night March 30th we head west again, this time to play SD Galway. The SD refers to Salthill Devon who now strut their stuff at Terryland Park. At least Terryland is easier to find than their last grounds and if we have a return to harsh weather, the facilities there are also better. Although there is gap between the two sides, ( our 12 points to Galway's one point) this is an extremely important game for us. In other recent seasons, we tended to perform better against sides ahead of us. But if we're to make any progress this season, then we have to show the same flair against all teams. It's obvious that this is going to be a very close league with every single point being precious and worth fighting hard for.
SD Galway have the only Brazilian player in the first division ( Bohs have one also,Rafael Barreto).
Eduardo Dusi is the man with the westerners. By the way, according to a report by Fifa-”Global Market Transfers in 2011” -it found that Brazilians were the most sought after transfers around the world. The average transfer cost was $1.5 million but relax, Dusi arrived in Galway on a free transfer. This game will be tough and dogged but hopefully the wide open spaces of Terryland will suit our style of playing.
BUS TO GALWAY
The Supporters' Club will be running a bus to the Friday game against SD Galway but once again, it depends on getting the right numbers. If we can't fill the bus, then we can't afford to run it, it's as simple as that. Please contact Liam Healion on 087 6141926 by Wednesday night if you're interested in traveling west. We'll be leaving from opposite Lidl,Dublin Road at 5.45pm on Friday.
Already, by Saturday night last, we've had a few confirmed bookings, so please don't delay, call today.
SECTION O GROW
Maybe it's the early new growth this spring or the arrival of Kirbs or our winning start ( best since 1985) but Section O seems to be growing too. At some games last season they had only a handful of die hards but this season they must be giving out free passes or singing lessons. Whatever the reason, the growth is encouraging, especially the number of their young recruits . They ( eventually) burst into song during our recent win against Waterford and added greatly to the excitement at Flancare. And talking of music, where is the drum beat that once used to ring round the hallowed grounds? Nice too to see the lads doing what someone called De Poznan, a back to front dance, first used by Lech Poznan,Poland and later adapted by Man City before being perfected by De Town. “De Poznan by De Town” surely the latest phrase of 2012.
It was encouraging to see the President of Ireland , Michael D Higgins,attend an Airtricity game where two of our former managers went head to head, Shamrock Rovers under Stephen Kenny and Shels with Alan Mathews.And yet, our national broadcaster still largely ignores us.Even Artel froze at the week-end.Congratulations to fanatical supporter Kieran Burke who had a rather special cake to celebrate a special birthday recently. We also send birthday greetings to Daniel O Connor, another terrific fan. Great to see Emmet Lyons back too. Or is he casting a cold eye on Flancare on behalf of Social Welfare to see if we'll pay the household charge? Congrats to Aidan Corkery who is now a proud grandfather. Hopefully Noel Nolan is enjoying our recent great wins, it's just such a pity you're unable to attend but you're with us in spirit Noel.
PLAYER OF THE MONTH
It's going to be a difficult task in naming our Player of the Month award for March , given the sky high performances of every Town player. Text your nominations to 087 9896269 after the game against SD Galway. The award will be presented at our next home game in mid April. The awards this season will be in memory of our great friend and former player and President, John Donlon.