LIMERICK FC must beat Sligo Rovers at the Showgrounds on Friday night and hope Drogheda United don’t beat Shamrock Rovers in Tallaght in order to secure a SSE Airtricity League Premier Division relegation play-off.
Limerick missed out on the chance of securing automatic survival in the top flight after suffering a hugely disappointing 2-0 defeat to Shamrock Rovers before an official attendance of 1,960 on Friday night.
Limerick’s third successive home defeat of the season sees Martin Russell’s side remain two points behind Drogheda United in the Premier Division table with just one game to go. Limerick and Drogheda are level on goal difference.
Sligo Rovers moved out of the relegation race after seeing off St Patrick’s Athletic in Dublin.
Limerick FC fell behind on 15 minutes when Brandon Miele took advantage of some very poor defending from Limerick to score from 12 yards out. It was the third time this season that Miele had scored against the Blues.
Limerick could have been 2-0 down on the half hour mark, but Ryan Brenann’s terrific effort on goal skimmed off the top of the top of the crossbar.
The home side did fall two goals in arrears five minutes later when Stephen McPhail scored with a delightful free-kick high into the Lims net. The Blues were very much authors of their own downfall, however, conceeding the needless free-kick losing posession playing inaccurate passes out of defence.
Limerick FC though they were back in the game just before half time, but Ian Turner’s goal was chalked off for an off-side involving Vinny Faherty.
Rovers maintained their 2-0 lead until half-time and looked comfolrtable as the second half began.
Limerick FC did create a decent scoring opprtunity 20 minutes into the second half, but Paul O’Conor’s header at the back post flashed over the crossbar.
LIMERICK FC - Freddy Hall, Shaun Kelly, Robbie Williams, Paul O’Conor, Ian Turner, Shane Duggan (Capt), Dean Clarke, Vinny Faherty (Cyril Guedje 87), Sean Russell (Darragh Rainsford 82), Lee J Lynch (Shane Tracy half-time), Patrick Kanyuka.
SHAMROCK ROVERS - Barry Murphy, Simon Madden, David Webster, Conor Kenna (Capt), David O’Connnor, Pat Cregg, Stephen McPhail (Gary McCabe 78), Ryan Brennan (Michael Drennan 78), Brandon Miele, Gavin Brennan, Danny North (Damien Duff 86).
REFEREE - Graham Kelly