STRUGGLING Limerick FC remain rooted to the foot of the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division table after suffering a disappointing 2-0 defeat at home to Derry City at Jackman Park on Monday night.
Two first half goals, courtesy of Barry McNamee from the penalty spot and Mark Timlin in stoppage time, consigned Mark Russell’s misfiring side to their sixth defeat of the campaign before an official attendance of just 354 spectators.
Limerick, yet to record a win in the top flight this season, have picked up just three points from a possible 27 through the opening nine series of games and are fast emerging as prime relegation contenders.
Worryingly Limerick FC have now conceded 23 goals in their opening nine fixtures, while scoring just seven times in those games.
After a lively start, Limerick came close to opening the scoring after just seven minutes. Vinny Faherty played a neat ball down to Clarke on the left of the box before crossing for Paul O’Conor. However, he was thwarted by Derry netminder Doherty.
However, Derry City took the lead on 25 minutes when Barry McNamee scored from the penalty spot after Limerick FC ‘keeper Conor O’Donnell had fouled Patrick McEleney inside the penalty area. It was Derry’s first goal in the Premier Division for 316 minutes.
Crucially, Derry gave themselves a 2-0 cushion at half-time when Mark Timlin grabbed a second goal for the Candystripes in first half stoppage time. The visitors were flattered by their two-goal lead against a Blues side which played some attractive football, but lacked a cutting edge in front of goal.
Trailing by two goals at the break, the Blues were facing an uphill battle and the task proved beyond the struggling home side.
The impressive Shane Duggan came agonisingly close to scoring a consolation goal for Limerick in stoppage time, but the captain’s well-hit volley flew narrowly wide.
Next up for Limerick FC is a home tie with Shamrock Rovers at Jackman Park on Saturday next at 7.45pm.
LIMERICK FC: Conor O’Donnell, Sean Harding, Robbie Williams (Tony Whitehead 89), Aidan Price, Paul O’Conor, Shane Duggan (Capt), Dean Clarke, Vinny Faherty, Shane Tracy (Kieran O’Hanlon 72), Sean Russell, Jason Hughes (Ian Turner 72).
DERRY CITY: Gerard Doherty (Capt), Dean Jarvis, Seanan Clucas, Shane McEleney, Barry McNamee, Philip Lowry, Patrick McEleney (Nathan Boyle 90 +4), Sean Houston, Mark Timlin, Seamus Sharkey, Aaron Barry.
REFEREE: Derek Tomney (Dublin)