By Adrian Finnan, Sporting Limerick (Photo: Conor Wyse)
Limerick FC produced an utterly dominant display at the Markets Field as they defeated Drogheda United 3-0 courtesy of goals from Rodrigo Tosi, Chris Mulhall and Chiedozie Ogbene. The Shannonsiders move up to fourth place as a result.
Limerick began the game at a ferocious pace and took the lead after just five minutes, as Rodrigo Tosi powerfully headed home from a Lee-J Lynch corner. Drogheda barely had time to recover before they were 2-0 down. Chiedozie Ogbene’s weak shot rebounded off Chris Mulhall and past Stephen McGuiness
The home side’s early dominance continued as a great overlapping run by right-back Shaun Kelly resulted in a low cross which Rodrigo Tosi failed to convert under pressure. Limerick were almost gifted a third goal as a mix up between Drogheda goalkeeper Stephen McGuiness and center-back Kevin Farragher allowed Tosi to take possession. However, McGuiness recovered just in time to deny the Brazilian front man.
Shaun Kelly was a constant threat all evening and his overlapping runs caused the Drogheda defenders all sorts of problems. Chiedozie Ogbene’s neat turn on the edge of the box deceived the Drogheda defence but his shot was blocked on the line by Kevin Farragher.
Within ten minutes of the restart, Limerick extended their lead further. A long-angled clearance by Brendan Clarke found Chiedozie Ogbene on the left, whose persistence saw off challenges from Colm Deasy and Luke Gallagher, before scuffing the ball past Stephen McGuiness.
On the hour mark, Limericks player of the month Lee-J Lynch was denied a spectacular goal as he unleashed a shot from 20 yards which cannoned off the crossbar.
Substitute Dean Clarke should have added a fourth for Limerick as he was played through by Rodrigo Tosi, but his shot was deflected on to the crossbar by Stephen McGuinness. Immediately afterwards, Drogheda’s former Irish international Stephen Elliott placed a shot straight at Brendan Clarke in what was the visitors first clear chance of the game.
With five minutes remaining, former Shamrock Rovers player Clarke curled a shot which was excellently saved by Drogheda’s McGuinness.
Willie Boland will be delighted with the performance from Limerick and has picked up two wins from his two games in charge.
Limerick FC: Brendan Clarke, Shaun Kelly, Tony Whitehead, Robbie Williams, Tommy Robson, Paul O’Conor (Bastien Hery 63), Shane Duggan, Lee-J Lynch, Chris Mulhall (Dean Clarke 70), Chiedozie Ogbene, Rodrigo Tosi (John O’Flynn 79).
Subs not used: Freddy Hall (GK), Dave O’Connor, Ian Turner, Stephen Kenny,
Yellow Cards: None
Red Cards: None
Drogheda United: Stephen McGuinness, Colm Deasy, Kevin Farragher, Luke Gallagher, Stephen Dunne, Sean Thornton, Richie Purdy, Jake Hyland (Ciaran McGuigan 70), Gareth McCaffrey, Mark Doyle (Adam Wixted 63), Ryan McEvoy (Stephen Elliott 64)
Subs not used: Ryan Coulter (GK), Conor Kane, Jamie Hollwood, Shane Elworthy.
Yellow Cards: Colm Deasy (40) , Luke Gallagher (63), Sean Thornton (73)
Red Cards: None
Referee: Graham Kelly
Sporting Limerick Man of the Match: Chiedozie Ogbene