The Markets Field, all set for Friday night
LIMERICK FC FACE a crucial fixture when they welcome Drogheda United to the Markets Field on Friday night. With just seven games remaining in the SSE Airtricity League First Division, it’s make or break for ‘The Blues’ as they try to sneak into the playoff spots by leapfrogging the teams above them, including this week’s opponents.
Tommy Barrett’s charges currently sit fifth in the table, just four points of Cabinteely in fourth, while ‘Drogs’ maintain a further two-point cushion.
But Barrett is realistic and knows how difficult it may be to try and cling onto the better resourced clubs ahead of them, as he continues to blood more and more young players into the senior setup due to budgetary restriction.
Limerick have won two, lost two and drawn one of their last five games but did fall in their previous outing to Bray Wanderers.
Paul Keegan scored the only goal of the game, from the penalty spot, on the stroke of half-time. While the scoreline suggests a close tie, in truth, it wasn’t.
Former Blue Killian Cantwell saw red just five minutes into the second half, and Limerick barely threatened for the remaining 40 minutes of the half.
This is the reality of the situation Tommy Barrett faces now, and while no further exits are expected from his playing squad, there’s even less likely to be any incomings.
With a paper-thin squad and mounting injuries, the sides that take to the field will only get younger on average as the weeks go by – and the fixtures aren’t getting any easier, as this week’s opponents Drogheda are in a rich vein of form, winning seven of their last nine games in the league.
The sides’ previous meeting in United Park back in May was action-packed, as Sean Brennan netted a hat-trick, including a brace of penalties.
Darren Murphy scored a penalty of his own, before Adam Foley notched his first senior goal for the club late on. An equaliser was just out of their reach, but they did have better success earlier in the campaign.
Back in March, Limerick held Drogheda to a scoreless draw – one of only two occasions this season that a side have kept a home clean sheet against them.
However, that XI will be much-changed come Friday and Limerick will go into this game as big underdogs.
The game is scheduled for a 7.45pm kickoff at the Markets Field.
For a full match report on this game, please see www.limerickleader.ie on Friday night at the final whistle or see #LLSport