LIMERICK FC’s survival hopes were given a huge boost at the Markets Field on Saturday night as a revitalised Blues overcame a battling Bohemian FC side in the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division.
A first half penalty from Rodrigo Tosi gave the hosts an early lead as the Brazilian striker bagged his 11th league goal of the season, much to the relief of an under-pressure Neil McDonald.
Tosi’s penalty in the ninth minute settled the nerves but it wasn’t all plain sailing for Limerick as Bohemians were also awarded a penalty with minutes remaining in the first half.
Referee Jim McKell had adjudged that Bohs’ Akinade had been brought down in the penalty area but Georgie Poynton’s resulting penalty was superbly saved by Limerick’s Brendan Clarke.
The Super Blues maintained their 1-0 lead until half-time.
Limerick had almost made the perfect start when Ogbene and Stephen Kenny combined well in the middle, putting the pacey Ogbene clean from the Bohs’ backline but the former Cork City winger was denied by Shane Supple.
Bohs upped the tempo in the second half but Limerick held on for a vital three points as Neil McDonald’s side and the Super Blues’ supporters can sigh a sense of relief heading into two home fixtures with Finn Harps.
It was a much-improved performance for Neil McDonald’s struggling side who now move back up to seventh place and with a four-point gap above the drop zone.
The Blues had been in trouble following impressive victories for follow strugglers Sligo Rovers and St. Patrick’s Athletic on Friday night.
Limerick take another break from the league as they welcome Finn Harps to the Markets Field for the second round of the FAI Cup on Saturday evening, 6.30pm.
Limerick FC: Brendan Clarke; Barry Cotter, Tony Whitehead, Joe Crowe, David O’Connor; Lee J-Lynch, Bastien Hery, Stephen Kenny (Dean Clarke 63), Chiedozie Ogbene; Rodrigo Tosi, Peter Berki (Garbhan Coughlan 67)
Bohemians: Shane Supple; Derek Pender, Rob Cornwall, Keith Ward, Ciaran O’Connor (Lorcan Fitzgerald 67); Fuad Suld, Dan Casey (Dylan Hayes 77), Ian Morris, Warren O’Hara, Georgie Poynton (Keith Dalton 84), Ismahil Akinade.
Referee: Jim McKell.