Good day Drogs and I hope everyone has settled back into the working way after the Bank Holiday weekend. I’m only back in the office this morning as being one of the Queen’s subjects, I was afforded an extra day off work due to her celebrating her Diamond Jubilee. Who says nothing good can come from keeping the monarchy? God Save the Queen I say, so long as she continues to give me more days off! Anyway, I was delighted to be in attendance at Boriel last Friday to see us go into the mid-season break with a good 2-1 win over Craptown. We played well in parts but overall deserved our win and now it puts us in a healthy position once the league recommences in 2 weeks time.
So it was the big derby last Friday night, live on the box as well and after the run we had it was imperative that we got the 3 points. Can I also add that did anyone else think the Garda presence outside the ground was a little overkill? I mean we had no more than about 100 fans there and there were 4 horses and 2 dogs as well as others on foot. I’ve less security going to games over here so I’m sure Craptown will have a nice hefty bill for organising all of that.
On the game itself, our first half performance was encouraging. We went straight at Craptown from the off and really should have been ahead by more than just the one goal at half time. We had chances from Fabio, RB, SB and Hynesy’s pilldriver off the bar, which would have been a brilliant goal. The midfield were playing well, Crowley especially but RB was a little lost on the right hand side. SB was showing his nice touches and is clearly the most creative player in the squad that we have. Defensively we were sound however Philly Hand was having a little trouble dealing with their attacker. He started as Grimes and Gannon both got injured the night before when they went to train on an artificial pitch to acclimatise for the game, so much for that!
The opening goal itself was brilliant. The free kick was won near the right hand side touchline online a few yards away from their penalty area. RB saw the opportunity and played it into Crowley who saw the space open up as the Craptown defenders fell asleep. He played a nice one-two with Fabio who when the cross came in flicked it on to SB who was on hand to stab it home from close range. A great goal that was showed we were switched on which is what we need when playing in the Premier. That was just before half time and the perfect tonic to go into the half time break.
During half time the usual mutterings appeared from around the away terrace of “This place is some shithole” and also some song about the Craptown’s managers lack of dancing abilities! Also the jacks were in some terrible state. I hope that it was like before some Drogs fans went in to use them otherwise I’d be seriously concerned about the hygiene of some of the people attending games!
The second half started and we all said that if we can contain them for the first 10 mins then we should be able to push on a kill the game. That would have been nice however it went a completely different way. Craptown came out of the blocks, quicker and hungrier and looked like they wanted it more. We just couldn’t cope with their pressure and our midfield were nowhere to be seen. Even though they had most of the possession in the second half, they didn’t create any close range clear cut chances, bar the goal obviously! Their goal itself was a decent move but because we were second to everything it was a poor one to concede. What we needed was a quick response as otherwise there was only one way that the game was going and it wasn’t a win for us. Thankfully we managed to edge back into the lead when our midfield’s only contribution in the second half was for Foley to play a nice ball at an angle to Crowley who was hovering around the edge of the box and he met it perfectly to guide the ball into the top corner. A great goal and one that was badly needed.
After that I thought that we’d really wake up now but again we just sat back and soaked up all the pressure. If it was any of the top teams then we would have been punished but luckily Craptown are pretty shit and so they weren’t able to hurt us in the final third. I have to say that I was impressed by the long distance shooting by both teams, not many went high and wide. Sava was his usual self in having his Dan moments before producing some top drawer saves to keep us in the game. Tuite decided to play an extra 5 mins of injury time which gave Foley enough time to get sent off for a second yellow but we held out and took the bragging rights in Louth again.
So overall, we played alright, still work to do. I thought that Gannon was missed badly in midfield. RB was out of position and didn’t contribute enough but to be fair he wasn’t given his fair share of ball. Foley needs to work on his passing big time. He can play the difficult ball pretty well, Eg. Our second goal, but a simple 5 yard pass seems to be alien to him. We can’t afford to have players like that against the top teams as they’ll just murder us. Hynesy played a blinder I thought and was fully deserved of his man of the match award. All our attacks went through him and his touch and lay offs as well as his winning headers in the air were excellent. His partnership with Fabio reminded me of the great Fabio/Myler days and if that sort of partnership can be built up again then that would be amazing.
Sava – 7 – I’m saying 7 because he was brilliant at the shot stopping but gave us some heart in mouth situations. STAY ON YOUR LINE!!!
Quigley – 7 – Did fine, was made to work all night but dealt with their quick right winger pretty well.
McNally – 7 – Easy enough night for him, dealt with all the aerial challenges. Couldn’t do anything about the goal.
Prendergast – 7 – A beast of a man. Played really well and even after a clash of heads, he got up and put in a diving header to clear the danger, some man!
Hand – 6 – Did alright, had to deal with their full back and winger attacking and was on the backfoot most of the game.
RB – 6 – Very quiet throughout the game but did brilliantly to setup the first goal with their quick free kick.
Crowley – 7 – Played well in the first half and took his goal brilliantly.
Foley – 6 – Needs to improve on his short game passing. Put in a great cross for the second goal.
SB – 7 – Our most creative player again. Showed great touches and awareness but died a little in the second half.
Fabio – 7 – Worked hard all night, probably should have done better with his header in the first half but linked up well with Hynes.
Hynes – 9 – Man of the match. Didn’t score but was at the heart of all our attacking moves and held the ball up really well.
Subs were made late on so didn’t have time to make a difference.
So that’s it for 2 weeks now. Instead of our weekly dose of football we have the Euro’s to look forward to. I’m on the biggest fan of international football but I do like an international tournament I do! With 5 ex-LOI players in Trap’s squad and players that we’ve all watched in United Park it’ll give a nice touch to following the Boys in Green.
Anyway, enjoy the tournament and I’ll so some updates on the blog over the next week or so on my observations.