Longford Town manager Tony Cousins was full of mixed emotions after his team’s heartbreaking defeat to Bray Wanderers in the promotion/relegation second leg on Friday night last. He was proud of his team but disappointed at the unpunished foul on Keith Quinn before Kevin O’Connor scored the winner for Bray.
This decision incensed Cousins: “Everybody is talking about it. It’s disappointing that the referee is the topic of conversation because I think both sets of players gave a fantastic display. It’s something that has happened over the course of the season, with managers talking about decisions rather than the football,” he told the Leader.
The Town boss couldn’t fault his side, who produced another terrific performance and just came up short in the end: “The players gave me everything. As a manager when you walk away from nights like tonight so disappointed but pleased that the players gave what they have. I think you saw that by the response of the crowd. When you see the football we can play and the young players there it shows the club is vibrant. You’ve got to be positive.”
Just like their previous game, Town were sluggish in the first half and conceded an early goal but improved immensely after the break. Cousins said, “The first 25 minutes were very disappointing. I don’t know what it was, whether it was nerves. At half-time I said ‘you’ve got to settle down and keep the ball moving.’ Once we got out for the second half we started to do that. I think we needed to get our noses in front, though.”
Once again Town were missing players; Des Hope and Dean Ebbe.
The Dubliner admitted that he has never experienced a season like this before: “This year has been a real experience. Six years of management and this has outweighed the other five. What has gone on since the start of the season has taken its toll. I thought we’d get that bit of luck after what we’ve been through but it didn’t happen.”