LIMERICK FC made it three wins on the trot in the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division with a precious 2-1 victory over UCD at Thomond Park this Friday night.
Limerick should have won by a far more convincing margin having dominated the majority of this game and creating a hatful of chances. Tam McManus and captain Shane Duggan netted the two Limerick goals at the start of either half.
UCD ensured a few nervy moments for the home supporters after Samir Belhout pulled one back for the Dublin students after an hour.
However, Limerick players headed into their mid-season break in good spirits after maintaining their precious lead until the final whistle. The win was an important one for the Blues following their tame exit from the FAI Cup just six days earlier at the hands of Bohemians.
Limerick FC made a dream start, scoring the game’s only goal after 90 seconds. Winger Galbraith picked out Shaun Kelly with an inch perfect pass down the right wing. Kelly’s pinpoint cross was headed home by Lims’ Scottish-born striker Tam McManus.
Limerick, playing with an urgency and purpose that was all too lacking in their FAI Ford Cup defeat to Bohemians six days earlier, dominating the opening quarter, confidently knocking the ball around.
The home side, who welcomed Jason Hughes and Prince Agyemang back after suspension, should have been 2-0 up mid-way through the half. The returned Agyemang put Rory Gaffney into the clear, but the striker’s shot on goal was parried by UCD ‘keeper Conor O’Donnell. However, the in-rushing Agyemang blasted the rebound wide.
The visiting ‘keeper also made a fine save just before half-time to tip Gaffney’s goal-bound header around the post.
Limerick FC finally added a second goal in the 48th minute when UCD failed to clear an Agyeman corner and Blues skipper Shane Duggan blasted the ball to the net.
UCD got right back into the game on the hour mark as Samir Belhout punished slack defending by the home side to score. However, Stuart Taylor’s side ultimately proved good value for this win.
LIMERICK FC - Barry Ryan, Shaun Kelly, Stephen Folan, Danny Galbraith, Shane Duggan (Capt), Rory Gaffney, Patrick Nzuzi, Prince Agyemang, Tam McManus (Ross Mann 72), Samuel Oji, Jason Hughes.
UCD - Conor O’Donnell, Hugh Douglas, Gareth Matthews, James Kavanagh, Ian Ryan, Robbie Creevy (Barry McCabe 67), Colm Crowe, Gary Burke (Dwayne Wilson 86), Samir Belhout, Robbie Benson (Capt), Chris Mulhall.
REFEREE - Robert Harvey (Dublin)