THE in-form Denis Behan rescued Limerick FC’s promotion hopes with a precious injury time winning goal against Longford Town as they won 1-0 at Jackman Park on Friday night.
With each of Limerick’s three promotion rivals, Shelbourne, Cork City and Monaghan United, recording comfortable victories, it was vital that Pat Scully side’s picked up all three points at home against a side lying 12 points below them in the league table.
But it took a 92nd minute headed goal from Behan - his sixth in five League games - to ensure Limerick avoided a repeat of their hugely frustrating home draw against Salthill Devon on their previous home fixture. By the time Abbeyfeale-born Behan netted, following good work from Sean Brosnan and Rory Gaffney, Longford had been reduced to 10 men with the sending off of Chris Deans.
Limerick remain in fourth place in the Division, 11 points behind runaway leaders Shelbourne, with just six games to play. Second-placed Cork City enjoy a three-point advantage over Limerick, while Monaghan United are two ahead of thee Super Blues with a game in hand.
The top two sides in the First Division table with gain automatic promotion to the Premier Division at the end of the season. The third-placed side will play off with the bottom team in the Premier to decide which side plays in the top flight next season.
Half of Limerick FC’s remaining six League games are away from home, with two of those against fellow-promotion contenders Shels’ and Monaghan United.
The tireless Sean Brosnan did well to keep the ball in for the match-winning goal, before combining intelligently with Rory Gaffney who then skipped past a Longford challenge. Gaffney’s cross was deflected and the in-rushing Behan powered home the winning goal with a clinical header much to the relief of the home supporters.
LIMERICK FC: Barry Ryan, Andrew Bhandarkar, Peter White, Paddy Purcell, Shaun Kelly, Joe Gamble, David O’Leary (Jeffrey Judge 71 mins), Joe Gamble, Rory Gaffney, Shane Tracy (Garbhan Coughlan 80 mins), Paudie Quinn ( Sean Brosnan 67 mins), Denis Behan.