Limerick FC have won just three league games at the Markets Field this season
LIMERICK FCs hopes of securing a relegation play-off position in the SSE Airtricity League will have to wait another 24 hours at least after the Blues suffered a frustrating 1-0 defeat to Derry City in front of the lowest league attendance of the season at the Markets Field on Friday night.
Second-from-bottom Limerick remain 12 points clear of basement side Bray who play their game in hand on the Blues when visiting Sligo Rovers on Saturday night.
Should Bray fail to win at the Showgrounds, then Limerick will be guaranteed their place in the relegation play-off against any one of three First Division sides, Finn Harps, Shelbourne or Drogheda Utd, with three regular season games to spare.
Limerick have managed to win just three times at home this season, scoring just 10 goals in 17 league outings in Garryowen.
The defeat capped a worrying 24 hours for Limerick after reports claimed the Super Blues had been issued with a winding-up order by Revenue. Revenue’s petition will be heard on October 22 in the High Court.
Limerick were full of energy early on as they pressurised the Derry players in possession, making life uncomfortable for the visitors in their desire to play out from the back.
However, the Candystripes created the first decent scoring chance of the evening in the eighth minute when Ronan Hale broke through and shot, only to be denied by a brilliant save from Tommy Holland.
Hale was again denied on 16 minutes when he shot straight at Holland this time.
However, the Republic of Ireland U-21 international was not to be dnied on 23 minutes. as he fired the visitors in front with a smart finish from Nicky Low’s superb through ball.
Limerick did create a couple of half chances before half-time, but were unable to capitalise on any of them as Derry retained their 1-0 lead to the break.
Limerick FC created the first decent chance of the second half when, six minutes after the resumption, Shane Tracy’s sweet cross was headed on by Will Fitzgerald into the path of Karl O'Sullivan. However, his close range attempt on goal dipped just over the crossbar.
Six minutes later, a terrific free-kick from Shane Tracy from a few yards outside the penalty stung the hands of Derry ‘keeper Gerard Doherty who parried the ball over the bar for a corner which came to nothing.
Limerick failed to muster anything by way of a clear-cut scoring opportunity for the rest of the game as Kenny Shiels side ended a five-game losing league run.
Limerick FC manager Tommy Barrett was without striker Connor Ellis who has been struck down with a bug this week.
LIMERICK FC: Tommy Holland, Shaun Kelly, Kilian Cantwell, Cian Coleman (Danny Morrissey 84), Shane Duggan (Capt), Shane Tracy, Will Fitzgerald, Karl O’Sullivan (Billy Dennehy 78), Darren Murphy, Colman Kennedy, Barry Maguire.
DERRY CITY: Gerard Doherty (Capt), Danny Seaborne, Aaron McEneff, Aaron Splaine, Jamie McDonagh, Ben Fisk, Eoin Toal, Darren Cole, Dean Shiels, Ronan Hale, Nicky Low (Andy Delap 78).
REFEREE: Graham Kelly