Athlone Town 1 – 3 Limerick FC

Airtricity League First Division 

Scorers for Limerick: Declan Cahill (47), Jeffrey Judge (91), Daryl Kavanagh (94)

Saturday 8th May 2010

Two injury time goals ensured that Limerick FC claimed a thoroughly deserved victory against an Athlone Town team which they dominated from start to finish at Lissywollen on Saturday evening.

Limerick made the trip up the bog road full of confidence and cheered on by a large travelling support having won three of their last four games. It was clear from early on that they would be the only team playing any football on the day as, despite being at home, Athlone sat back happy to settle for a point, only committing numbers into Limerick’s half of the field on the rare occasions when they won a set piece.

Limerick dominated possession throughout the half but had trouble breaking down the blanket defence, Stephen Hickey coming closest for the Blues. However despite a half of near total domination, incredibly it was Limerick who would go in behind at half time. Two minutes before the interval an Athlone cross was swung towards the near post and glanced off Sean Kelly’s shin before finding its way to the net – a shocked Dave Ryan in the Limerick goal retrieving the ball from the back of a net which he had barely had to defend for the opening 43 minutes.

The second half began with the introduction of new Limerick signing Willie Boland and this together with the shock of going behind stirred the Blues into a fresh assault on the Athlone goal. Two minutes into the half they had their just reward with Declan Cahill planting a header past the rooted Chris Bennion for his second goal in as many games.

There was disappointment for Limerick eight minutes later however, when Willie Boland’s debut was ended by what the club have confirmed is only a minor back injury. However Boland had shown enough in his brief spell on the pitch to show he could be a crucial piece of Pat Scully’s promotion chasing jigsaw. Despite this setback Limerick continued to utterly dominate proceedings with Athlone, despite being the home side, content to run the ball into the corners and give their defence a breather on the rare occasions they gained possession. And for a long time it looked as if this would be enough to gain them an undeserved point as Limerick just couldn’t find a breakthrough.

Then, in the first minute of stoppage time, Limerick won a corner on the left hand side of the area. Martin Deady’s expert delivery was met by Jeffrey Judge who hammered his header into the roof of the Athlone net. Cue pandemonium in the stands as nearly the entire Limerick team ran over to celebrate with their ecstatic fans.

Two minutes later things got even better for Limerick as Daryl Kavanagh beat his marker before coolly rolling the ball past Chris Bennion to give Limerick the two goal victory which was the least their dominance deserved.

So four wins out of five for Limerick FC and victory at home to Mervue next week will set them up nicely for the long trip to the Brandywell the following week to take on high flying Derry City.

Limerick: David Ryan, Sean Kelly, Martin Deady, Declan Cahill (Nigel Stanley 67), Pat Purcell, Peter White (Willie Boland 46, Thomas Lyons 58), Daryl Kavanagh, Jeffrey Judge, Stephen Hickey, John Tierney, Shane Tracy.
Subs not used: Robert Kelleher, Brian Collopy.

Referee: Keith Callanan