Three vitally important points were bagged on Saturday night after a tough, tense game which saw us run out victors by a single goal. According to some travelling Bray supporters, they had fully expected to come away with a win to make the remainder of their season somewhat secure.
However, Tony Cousins' men had other ideas and even before kick off you could sense the air of dogged determination, as they went through running exercises before kick off. With Dean Kelly and David O'Sullivan playing up front, it was clear that De Town were intent of changing things round.
Bray played some very attractive, passing football but despite a lot of possession, the hosts were continually in their face. When they did manage to break through, Paul Hunt was in sparkling form, with the keeper now looking stronger and fitter than ever.
As a gorgeous harvest moon rose behind Section O, both sides pushed for that elusive goal which many thought would be enough to settle the tie. David O'Sullivan had a wonderful chance in the first half but he blasted over. Stephen Rice was brandished a yellow card just before half time and then red after 73 minutes.
Before the sending off, David O'Sullivan had put us ahead on 56 minutes with an absolute screamer, following a sublime through pass from an inform Mark Salmon. It surely will rank as one of our goals of the season and should rank with the soccer programme on RTE.
After the sending off, our teak resolve was fully tried and tested. Allowing Bray possession in their own half, meant that we were under a constant barrage. The Seagulls tried every trick in their extensive armoury but a well drilled, tenacious, disciplined Town side saw out the game.
It was our third time this season to clip the wings of the Seagulls but what was more important were those three valuable points, which saw us leap frog Derry back to seventh place.
This week end sees us head west again when we face Galway in Eamonn Deacy Park, with a 7.45 kick off. Although, we're ahead of the Tribesmen, the margin is tight. Galway went down 1-0 to Cork in their last outing, which surely points to another close encounter with ourselves. Every game with the westerners is close and they will be desperate to get back to winning ways to ease being dragged down to the red zone. However, a win for ourselves would surely set us nicely for the remaining games. Fingers and toes crossed.
The Gods were kind to us in the FAI Cup draw, drawing Sheriff YC in the quarter finals and at home. The game will be played on the week end after our league game against Galway. Locally, many were hoping for a midlands derby but Sheriff soon shot that tie out of the skies when they defeated Athlone Town on penalties last Monday night. The Dublin outfit will relish a tie down the country where they can really make headlines, should they turn us over. They've a number of former Town players in their side who'd like nothing more. It promises to be an enthralling tie. Then, should we win, we're a mere 90 minutes away from another FAI Cup final. No harm in dreaming.
AUGUST PLAYER OF THE MONTH
Congratulations to Lorcan Shannon who has won the player of the month for August. Apart from scoring twice in the month, Loran gives his all in every single game. His commitment is total whether in taking on his man, sending in crosses, tackling like a tiger or even finding the back of the net. His passion is infectious and is surely a worthy winner for August. Lorcan will be presented with his trophy before the FAI Cup game against Sheriff YC.
Every week, we have some new or old friends visiting City Calling Stadium to check on our progress. Spotted at the Bray game was former Town player Danny O'Connor. Who will ever forget his super goal against Cork, head bandaged like a true warrior. Former Town secretary Frank Murtagh was present also keeping a close eye on his own back three (3 sons destined to wear the red and black). Paul Hunt was under keen observation too...from the visiting Cork keeper....his girlfriend plays for the talented Cork ladies side. Tony Cousins had a nephew and niece togged out as mascots and there was nice exchange of high fives just before kick off. But maybe most pleasing was the return of Padraig Connolly in the stand following a recent health scare; whatever about any other part of the affable Padraig, his lungs were in perfect working order.
Following their 4-1 defeat to bottom side Limerick (puts our 3-3 draw into perspective), Drogheda parted company with their high profile manager Johnny Mc Donnell. For their crunch away game against Derry City this week end, Mark Kinsella with Derek Boyle as assistant take over the reins. Mc Donnell's departure just shows how tense and unforgiving this season's run is turning out to be.
As if you didn't know, Marty Stapleton is our esteemed historian and archive manager. If you want any facts or figures, Marty will figure it all out. Recently he added some gems to his already impressive match programme collection. In 1983 we featured against Athlone in the League Cup and much to his delight, Marty unearthed the match programme. Later on in 1995, we faced Drogheda in the FAI Cup and again Marty managed to get his hands on the programme.
If you have any programmes you no longer want, contact Marty and he'll sort you.