TEN-MAN Limerick FC kept their hopes of pulling off the great escape very much alive after scoring a stunning 4-3 victory over Bohemians in their Premier Division thriller at the Markets Field this Saturday night.
Martin Russell’s Limerick, who were reduced to 10 players when defender Patrick Kanyuka was sent off five minutes into the second half, battled back from 2-3 down with 18 minutes remaining to record a famous win over the stunned visitors.
Two precious goals, courtesy of hometown heroes Shane Tracy from the penalty spot on 72 minutes and Lee J Lynch two minutes later fired Martin Russell’s charges to a vital win in their relegation battle.
It took basement side Limerick 22 games to record their first league win of the season - against Sligo Rovers last weekend. Now the gutsy Shannonsiders have recorded their second success after as dramatic a game as the famous Garryowen venue has witnessed.
Limerick supporters, in an official attendance of 822, cheered the Blues players off the pitch at full-time, repeatedly chanting ‘we are staying up, we are staying up.’
Limerick FC survived a scare on 21 minutes when the Gypsies came close to opening the scoring. When a cross from the right fell to Jake Kelly in the box, ten-yards out, he fired a low strike that looked destined for the net only for Blues keeper Freddy Hall to get down superbly to save.
And much to the delight of the large home support in the main stand, Limerick took the lead six minutes later when Vinny Faherty headed home from Ian Turner’s cross.
As so often this season. the Blues were unable to maintain that advantage for too long. Bohs drew level on 39 minutes when, from Jake Kelly’s corner, Ismahil Akinade headed in the equaliser.
Limerick FC’s hopes were dealt a major blow six minutes into the second half when defender Patrick Kanyuka was red-carded for a foul on Akinade inside the penalty area. A composed Jake Kelly duly scored from the resultant spot kick to help the Gypsies into a 2-1 lead.
However, resilient Limerick refused to lie down and substitute Sean Russell struck for a superb equaliser when he fired home from 25 yards. The drama wasn’t over yet. Far from it.
Bohemians were back in front on 69 minutes when Kelly showed terrific composure to beat Hall when put through on goal.
However, back came the Blues, with Tracy and Lynch netting twice in as many minutes to help Limerick make it back-to-back wins.
LIMERICK FC: Freddy Hall, Shaun Kelly, Robbie Williams, Paul O’Conor, Ian Turner (Sean Russell 56), Shane Duggan (Capt), Dean Clarke (Darragh Rainsford 85), Vinny Faherty, Shane Tracy, LL J Lynch, Patrick Kanyuka.
BOHEMIANS: Dean Delany, Roberto Lopes (Capt), Derek Prendergast, Karl Moore (Adam Evans 70), Keith Buckley, Jake Kelly, Paddy Kavanagh, Anto Murphy (Robbie Creevy 70), Ismahil Akinade, Dave Mulcahy, Jason Caffrey.
REFEREE: Sean Grant