LIMERICK FCs interim manager Willie John Boland got his reign off to the ideal start when the Blues scored a vital 2-0 SSE Airtricity League Premier Division win over St Patrick’s Athletic at Richmond Park on Friday night.
Goals in either half from Tony Whitehead and substitute John O’Flynn late on helped Limerick, who parted ways with manager Martin Russell just five days ago, to their third win of the season and fifth place in the Premier Division.
Limerick owe a great deal of gratitude for this timely success to their former St Pat’s goalkeeper Brendan Clarke who saved Conan Byrne’s 64th minute penalty award.
Then Ian Bermingham saw his effort from the rebound hit the upright.
Limerick FC, who suffered a disappointing 3-0 defeat to leaders Cork City a week ago, went in front on 26 minutes when Whitehead flicked Shane Duggan’s free-kick to the net.
St Pat’s applied sustained pressure on the Limerick defence in the third quarter, with Clarke forced into a number of smart saves.
St Pat’s wete awarded a penalty mid-way through the half after the referee judged Robbie Williams had handled Kurtis Byrne’s effort.
However, much to the delight of the travelling Limerick support. keeper Clarke, saved the spot kick.
Limerick wrapped up the points in the 84th minute. Blues goalkeeper Clarke fed the ball out to winger Chiedozie Ogbene for a quick counter. The former Cork teenager played in the substitute O'Flynn, who waited for Pat’s keeper O'Malley to commit before sliding it coolly under him.
Limerick’s next home fixture in the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division is a home tie against Drogheda United at the Markets Field on Easter Saturday, 6.30pm.
LIMERICK FC: Brendan Clarke, Shaun Kelly, Tommy Robson, Tony Whitehead, Robbie Williams. Paul O’Conor, Chris Mulhall (Dean Clarke 68), Lee-J Lynch, Shane Duggan (Capt), Cheidozie Ogbene (Ian Turner 88), Rodrigo Tosi (John O’Flynn 73).
ST PATRICK’S ATHLETIC: Conor O’Malley, Michael Barker, Ian Bermingnam, Lee Desmond, Gavin Peers, Conan Byrne, Patrick Cregg, Jonathan Lunney (Graham Kelly 58), Josh O’Hanlon (Aidan Keena 77), Alex O’Hanlon (Darragh Markey 81), Kurtis Byrne.
REFEREE: Paul McLaughlin