AMAZING TOWN VICTORY
Longford Town FC supporters have witnessed some amazing games down through the club's long history. Friday night's amazing and emotional win against a brave and battling Mervue Utd ranks right up there among the most memorable.
Every conceivable emotion was experienced many times over on a dark but mild City Calling Stadium; anticipation, hope, despair, frustration, elation, disappointment, and finally utter, unbridled elation and sheer delight.
It was a game watched from the edge of the seat, through shaky fingers, pressed against a sweaty face with a heart thumping at double the safe rate.This game had it all and more, pure raw passion, total commitment and enough incidents to replay over the dark winter nights ahead. We had superb goals, near misses, mistakes , sheer brilliance, smiles and tears.
Those who had travelled to the first leg in Galway knew we had been lucky to survive with being a mere goal behind. Mervue had the ability to destroy us but then we knew we had played way below our abilities. Despite being played on a Friday night, instead of our usual Saturday, there was a huge crowd at the City Calling Stadium. Surprisingly, Mervue brought a large and vocal crowd which added greatly to the electric atmosphere.
When we went one down after less than ten minutes to a stunning free kick, it semed like our dream was in tatters and shreds. The home support was stunned into silence and disbelief. But on the field, the players battled on and slowly got more into the rhythm of the game and created more chances than in all of the first game. Then Daniel Purdy, on 26mns let fly with a long range rocket which exploded in the back of the net. That explosion was echoed by the ecstatic and relieved home support.
The Clubhouse was jammed full at half time, where nerves were soothed by warm cups of tea and a chance to breathe normally, if only for a few minutes before the tension started all over again.
Straight away, the chances came thick and fast with Connolly, Ebbe and Purdy all coming agonisingly close. Eventually David O Sullivan found the back of the Mervue net on 66 minutes, when he scored from close range. It may not have been his best but the crowd celebrated as if it was.
Despite being under intense and sustained pressure, Mervue broke away and also broke the offside trap with our lads left looking at the linesman. Thankfully Chris Bennion saved their blushes.
Lady Luck ran out on Mervue a few minutes after that when one of their players received a second yellow and an early shower. Dare we dream? With just six minutes left, Des Hope almost broke the crossbar with a header. The clock ticked down as did our fingernails.
With the sides level at full time, we had a few short minutes to take stock . Texting updates with trembling fingers became a waste of valuable time.
Added time is always tense and Friday night proved this yet again. It was David O'Sullivan who kept our hopes alive with a well taken headed goal after 103 minutes from one of our many corners.
As the minutes ticked away agonisingly slowly, the stand was on its feet while Section O, was singing as of its collective life depended on their chants. Two minutes were added. That'd be six minutes in a normal half. Crazy time. The crowds waited for the final whistle, and waited. Mervue broke down the wing, crossed and unbelievably scored to level the tie again.The final whistle sounded with the resultant kick off.
The dreaded penalty shoot out. While we tried, in vain to regain our composure, the Mervue travelling support went wild with delight.
They hit the upright. We scored. Chris Bennion saved. We scored. Chris Bennion saved again. We scored and the dark night exploded and erupted into a frenzy of sheer, utter total delight.
Enough said, enough written. It was truly an amazing and well deserved win. Bring on Bray.
BUS TO BRAY
Section O will be running a bus to the game in Bray, details elsewhere on the site.
FRIDAY NIGHT AGAIN
This Friday night sees us play our absolute final game of the long league at the City Calling Stadium. Last Friday night saw a terrific crowd, some coming out for the first time in years which was great to see. Hopefully we can reproduce the winning way and the winning style again in front of an ever bigger crowd. Without doubt, the crowd prove to be the 12th man in the never to be forgotten win against Mervue. We need it just once more out the Strokestown road.
Social media like Facebook and Twitter has its detractors but for the home game against Mervue, it certainly worked for us. The chat was non stop and the posters were top class which all combined to heighten awareness for the game. It was also encouraging to see so many supporters from overseas leave positive comments as well as other clubs and indeed businesses.
PLAYER OF THE PLAY OFFS
The Supporters' Club will have a special award for the Player of the Play Offs. After next Friday night's game, you can text your nomination to 087 9896269 and don't forget your nomination too for Player of the Season and Goal of the Season. The awards will be presented at the annual Dinner Dance, details of which will appear very soon.
SPARE A THOUGHT
Well done to all the Town supporters who showed their appreciation for a gallant and game Mervue side. Johnny Glynn, Tom King etc are true gentlemen of the game.