Limerick FC's Shane Tracy
RESILIENT Limerick FC bounced back from their eight-goal thumping at the hands of Dundalk when recording a precious 1-0 victory over Bray Wanderers in the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division at the Markets Field on Friday night.
A terrific headed goal from substitute Danny Morrissey in the 82nd minute – following Shane Tracy’s pinpoint cross from the left – helped the Blues pick up their second win of the campaign before an official attendance of 948.
Limerick were grateful to goalkeeper Brendan Clarke, however, after he denied former Blues player Aaron Greene with a smart stop in a second-half breakaway when still scoreless.
The game wasn’t much of a spectacle, but that will hardly worry the Limerick FC supporters who cheered the Blues players off the pitch at full-time, the victory an ideal way to respond to their 8-0 thumping at the hands of Dundalk in their most recent league fixture.
Tommy Barrett’s Limerick side sit in an encouraging fifth-place in the table – two points off pacesetters Cork City and Waterford after four series of league games.
Limerick gave a debut off the bench to their twenty eight-year-old Dutch-Irish midfielder Barry Maguire who previously played with Utrecht and Den Bosch in Holland earlier.
Delighted @LimerickFCie fans warmly applauded & cheered players off Markets Field pitch following precious 1-0 win v Bray Wanderers in @SSEAirtricityLg Premier Division tonight #LLSport @Limerick_Leader @LimkLeaderSport #GreatestLeagueintheworld pic.twitter.com/8DE24zjko3— Colm Kinsella (@ckSportLeader) March 9, 2018
Next up for Limerick is Monday night’s trip to the newly refurbished Bandywell Stadium to take on a Derry City side which suffered a 6-1 thumping at the hands of Shamrock Rovers at Tallaght Stadium on Friday night.
Limerick boss Barrett made three changes to his starting team for the game with Tony Whitehead, Cian Coleman and Daniel Kearns returning in place of Colm Walsh-O’Loghlen, Kilian Cantwell and Billy Dennehy.
A combination of the recent poor weather and a schools rugby game on Monday left the playing a bit on the bumpy side in places.
After a lacklustre opening half, Limerick came closest to taking the lead on 28 minutes. William Fitzgerald found Connor Ellis who in turn played in Eoin Wearen, but the former Bohs’ man’s effort was gathered at the second attempt by Bray ‘keeper Dillon.
Three minutes later, Fitzgerald’s heavy touch halted a promising attacking position for the home side.
The 0-0 stalemate remained until half-time. Much of the interval for fans was taken up with talk of how the home side needed to show more urgency and play with a greater tempo during the second period.
Darren Dennehy heading inches wide moments into the second half, before that excellent save from the alert Clarke denied former Blues favourite Greene from putting the visitors in front.
With 10 minutes remaining, former Finn Harps man Morrissey, who had replaced Connor Ellis just a few minutes earlier, finally broke the deadlock when powering his header past Dillon.
LIMERICK FC: Brendan Clarke; Shaun Kelly, Tony Whitehead, Cian Coleman (Barry Maguire 69), Eoin Wearen, Shane Duggan (Capt), Connor Ellis (Danny Morrissey 75), Shane Tracy, Daniel Kearns, Will Fitzgerald (Killian Cantwell 89), Darren Dennehy.
BRAY WANDERERS: Aaron Dillon, Dan McKenna, Conor Kenna, Hugh Douglas, Kevin Lynch, John Sullivan (Darragh Noone 89), Gary McCabe (Capt), Paul O’Conor, Ronan Coughlan Daniel Kelly 79), Cory Galvin (Ger Pender 86), Aaron Greene.
REFEREE: Anthony Buttimer