Limerick FC and Drogheda in stalemate at Markets Field

Andrew Cunneen

Reporter:

Andrew Cunneen

Email:

sport@limerickleader.ie

Limerick FC and Drogheda in stalemate at Markets Field

Action from tonight's game at the Markets Field

Limerick FC played out a scoreless draw with Drogheda United at the Markets Field this evening – meaning they have failed to score in any of their opening three SSE Airtricity League First Division games.

Tommy Barrett’s men have now failed to score in 11 of their last 14 competitive fixtures and haven’t found the net in 567 minutes at the Markets Field – since Shane Duggan scored against Sligo Rovers in August.

The Blues were much-changed, as Shane Tracy, Tomas O’Connor and Connor Ellis missed out. But that only told half the story.

Limerick rarely threatened, as they lined out without a recognised striker. Sean McSweeney operated in a central area but he dropped deep enough to effectively operate as a false nine.

Karl O’Sullivan was Limerick’s main outlet down the right, but only the odd set piece saw them flash any sort of threat.

In reality, Drogheda were the better side by a distance.

They went close on a number of occasions through Adam Wixted, Sean Brennan and Chris Lyons, but Jack Brady was excellent in nets for the home side.

Perhaps even more worryingly for Limerick, only a handful of spectators braved the cold at the Markets Field to watch a subpar affair – 420 - and that crowd will hardly increase given the fare of offer on this given night.

Kieran Hanlon came on at half-time as Darren Murphy was whipped off for a poor showing, and while lacking conditioning, he made a difference as a legitimate target up top.

But for all their efforts, Limerick couldn’t even create so much as a chance across the 90 minutes, with their only opportunity arriving with the last kick of the game as Kieran Hanlon blazed over the bar.

Adam Wixted’s injury early in the second half stopped the momentum of a game slowly coming to life, and bar a few end-to-end moves late on, the game failed to ignite at all.

Limerick: Jack Brady; Shaun Kelly, Killian Brouder, Robbie Williams, Aaron Fitzgerald; Darren Murphy (Kieran Hanlon, 46), Jason Hughes; Karl O’Sullivan, Sean Russell, Colm Walsh-O’Loghlen; Sean McSweeney.

Subs not Used: Tommy Holland, Lee Devitt, Tomas O’Connor, Edmond O’Dwyer, Ger Barry, Kieran Hanlon, Adam Foley.

Drogheda United: Paul Skinner; James Brown, Luke Gallagher, Luke McNally, Conor Kane; Luke Heeney, Mark Hughes; Adam Wixted (Thomas Byrne, 63), Sean Brennan Mark Doyle; Chris Lyons.

Subs not Used: Luka Gratzer, Stephen Meaney, Janai Amour, James Clarke, Sean Trimble, Cian Kavanagh, Thomas Byrne.

Referee: Andrew Mullally.

Attendance: 420