29 Sept 2022

Joe Carroll: Louth footballers slipping further away from league leaders

Joe Carroll: Louth footballers slipping further away from league leaders

Donal McKenny in action against Longford. (Photo: Syl Healy)

If Sunday’s game at Pearse Park was a four-pointer, Louth didn’t do themselves much good by picking up just one of those points.

This Division Three league second round match with Longford was important to both sides in their bid to get something positive going after a losing start to the competition; but the draw means they remain among the whippers-in, slipping further away from the table-toppers.

The Longford venue was a bleak place to be. The crowd was pitiful small, the atmosphere non-existent and in keeping with all of this, the football was dreadful, both teams playing a game which had more concentration on defending than attacking. The final score of 0-9 – for the home side – to 1-6 illustrates the point. 

Just a little unlucky not to take something from the previous week’s home match with Laois, Louth got more than they deserved this time.

As was the case in Ardee, Mickey Harte’s charges made a good start, Sam Mulroy claiming a goal after five minutes; but between then and the same player coming up with the equaliser deep into time-added-on from a free, there was nothing much for the small travelling support to get excited about.

There were more groans than cheers, Louth’s persistence in getting behind the ball rather than ahead of it making the performance a hard watch. It might just be that adventure and a wee bit of flair are being sacrificed for the sake of a plan more easily implemented by a team more talented – and playing together longer – than Louth’s present representatives.

James Califf got his first game in goals, and, as forecast might happen, was asked to play a ‘Rory Beggan’ role. It worked for him. Finding himself in the midfield area, the Dreadnots clubman, was involved in the move that led to the equaliser. A clean sheet will probably get him a start in the next match, away to Limerick.

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