Wexford had always proved to be a difficult nut to crack but it was Wexford themselves who cracked on Saturday night last at the City Calling Stadium. Principal sponsor, Phil Munnelly who was present must have been impressed.
Apart from the five star performance in front of an appreciative crowd, it was a night that will linger long for many reasons for different people. Before kick off, there was a minute's silence for the late Dr. Niall Walsh whose untimely passing genuinely numbed the members of the club. Despite the downpour which lasted most of the day, the pitch looked like a billiard table, it was perfect. Having conceded early goals in our previous two games, it was a tonic to have McGlade put us one up after just 3 minutes. With Zambra (twice), O'Connor and Dillon adding to the tally, it was a score that Niall Walsh would have savoured. On top of all that, we had Havo take to the pitch as well as local lad Aodh Dervin making his debut.
Any of the above points would have been sufficient for a lengthy post match analysis but it was later when most were settling in for a post match pint or cup of tea that even more startling news broke with the announcement of the parting of ways with team manager Alan Mathews.
Full credit to the team for a stunning home win and credit too to the small number of travelling supporters who never stopped trying to encourage their boys in pink.
We travel to Tolka Park on Friday, June 2nd for the final game before the summer break. This will be our third meeting and so far, the Dublin outfit have failed to beat us, we won our last game and drew the first encounter. Their management team weren't happy with the match officials after their visit to the City Calling Stadium. They weren't over the moon either with their most recent defeat to newcomers Cabinteely, who defeated them 4-1 at home so they'll be hoping to reverse their fortunes before taking stock in the break. A win for De Town under caretaker manager Gary Cronin is exactly what we'd like even though the three points won't get us further up the table. However, should Shels win, they'd leap frog us into fifth. So let's go up and “bate“ them.
BEHIND THE SCENES
For most of us, we simply attend a game, hope for a few goals, a good game and of a win. But there are so many stories, dreams made and dreams shattered at the most ordinary of games. Last Saturday night was an example of such. We had Abbey FC from Ballinamore who helped greatly in creating a great atmosphere on Saturday night. They made a huge collective effort to travel from Leitrim to be present at the City Calling Stadium. They were professionally attired and turned out and their conduct and co operation was a credit to their hard working mentors. Check out the video clip on the Supporters' Club Facebook page with Don Cowan from after the game.
Abbey rovers fc were very happy to meet their idol Don Cowan tonight!!
Posted by Longford Town FC Supporters Club on Saturday, 27 May 2017
Then there was one of our most loyal, dedicated and youngest supporters from Drumlish, Cory Maher who recently made his First Holy Communion. Like all children he made a handsome profit on the day but the profit was spent on a Town jersey which he bought as soon as he arrived at the CCS and wore with pride.
Last week Aodh Dervin was presented with a special award by the school St Mel's College and then was introduced in the game against Wexford to mark his senior debut. He follows Adrian Murphy from the same school in making his debut ahead of his Leaving Cert. It may be only a game to some but so much more to most.
Alan Mathews is a name that will always be associated with success with De Town going back to our Cup winning years. So it was no surprise that most were delighted when he took over the reins from Tony Cousins. The bookies had ourselves and Waterford as favourites as contestants to make the return to the top flight for 2018. Our first few pre season matches were very encouraging and we all anticipated a rip roaring 2017 season. However, early on the wheels came off the wagon with a series of bad results and a list of injuries that'd frighten any emergency department. We had two 1-0 defeats that sickened many and maybe it was these results that were to prove the end of the road of for the affable Alan. Everyone who attended our 5-0 win against Wexford went home wondering if we'd finally turned a corner though some said it was already too late. No one mentioned a change of manager until shortly after the game that the website announced the departure of Alan Mathews by mutual consent.
The Supporters' Club would like to thank Alan for all his efforts in getting us back to winning ways and also for his help, co-operation and genuine friendship. Once a gentleman, always a gentleman. We wish you well Alan where ever the journey of sport brings you next.
There was genuine shock and disbelief when we heard of the sad and untimely passing of Dr Niall Walsh last week. Niall Walsh was the Club's official doctor for many years. But he was more, much more that just a doctor. He was a loyal friend and dedicated supporter who couldn't do enough for the club, much of his work undocumented. Apart from seeing to the medical side of things for the entire squad (and a few more), he also was instrumental with the Lotto partnership with the Shopping Centre being maintained and renewed. In the unlikely event that he couldn't attend a match, he always had another doctor lined up to take his place. He didn't have to be asked, he already had the arrangement in place. Always chatty and friendly, he was like a father figure to many of our former players all of whom expressed their high regard and utmost respect for Niall. The stories of great fun, laughter and genuine craic associated with Niall have been non stop since his all to sudden passing.
The Supporters' Club would like to extend its deepest sympathies to Breda, his wife and best friend and to all the family. Longford Town FC have had numerous footballing legends over the years, Dr Niall Walsh was a legend in his own way.
May he rest in peace.
CAR BOOT SALE
The Supporters' Club will be holding its Car Boot Sale this bank holiday Monday, June 5th at the City Calling Stadium car park. It kicks off very early and the final whistle will be at 3pm. It's one rated as one of the best in the land and if awards were given for such, it'd surely be an award winning Car Boot Sale. Don't miss it.