Limerick FC 1 – 0 Wexford Youths

Airtricity League First Division 

Limerick Scorers: Stephen O’Flynn (90)

Thursday 7th October 2010

Stephen O’Flynn’s late goal was enough to secure the three points for Limerick in Jackman Park against Wexford Youths. The win keeps Limerick in contention for a playoff spot which didn’t seem likely three weeks ago.

Limerick started to brighter of the two sides, with some lovely one touch football. John Tierney’s pace was causing the Wexford defence an awful lot of problems, while his counterpart and ex-Limerick striker, Gary Sheahan was kept rather quiet for the duration of the first half. In a game full of long range efforts, it was the home side who nearly went in front twenty minutes in, as some nice play found John Sullivan in an advanced role, shooting narrowly wide from a rather acute angle. Sullivan had a similar effort fly over the bar only moments later, but his ability was on show for all to see.

After some great work from John Tierney, the ball was squared to full back Sean Kelly whose blistering effort was well held by Youths keeper, Packie Holden. This was to be Limerick’s last meaningful chance of the first half and the home side would have to deal with a limited amount of Wexford pressure for the remainder of the first period.Garry Sheahan had an effort fly over the bar, while winger Rowe’s passing ability created space for the attacks, but nothing really came from it, and the sides went in all level at half time.

It was Limerick who came out with their socks rolled up, looking to get that ever so crucial goal that would bolster their playoff push. John Sullivan worked the midfield very well, creating an effort for himself soon after, firing just over the bar. Limerick seemed to panic ever so slightly, and resorted to long ball football, or “direct football” as its also known. Stephen O’Flynn was the main target, however the Cork native appeared harmless to Wexfords backline. Wexford soaked up all Limerick’s pressure, and the home side looked to the bench for inspiration.

The introductions of Garbhan Coughlan and Jeffrey Judge had a positive effect. Coughlan with his Tierney-esque runs, would prove tricky for the Youths, and tough tackling Judge, would break up the play in the middle of the field. Limerick’s best chance came on the hour mark, as a dashing run from winger Bobby Ryan enabled him to flash a ball across the face of goal, agonizingly, there was nobody to apply the finish.

Wexfords best chance of the game came with fifteen minutes left, a snap shot from Gary Sheahan nearly caught out Dave Ryan, but he saved majestically, tipping over the bar with a contender for save of the season, to keep Sheahan at bay.

Two long range Jeffrey Judge shots were the highlight in normal time, neither really troubling Packie Holden, but as the board went up, so did Paddy Purcell. The centre half won a header in the six yard box, laying on the perfect ball for O’Flynn to break Wexford hearts at the back post. The home support were sent into raptures as the players celebrated in style.

Limerick saw out the remainder relatively comfortably, getting that crucial win which sees them only two points off Shelbourne, who travel to Derry on Saturday. A play-off spot, not so out of reach for Pat Scully’s side.

Limerick FC: David Ryan, Sean Kelly (Garbhan Coughlan 74), Peter White, David Rogers, Pat Purcell, John Sullivan, Bobby Ryan, Thomas Lyons (Shane Clarke 76), Stephen O’Flynn, Shane Tracy (Jeffrey Judge 60), John Tierney.
Subs not Used: Brian O’Callaghan, John McGuinness.

Wexford Youths: Patrick Holden, Shane Nolan, Gareth McCurtin, Anthony Russell, Martin Kehoe, Shane Dempsey (Michael Mullen 86), Kevin Rowe, Gregory Yelverton, Robert Dempsey, Gary Sheahan, Ben Ryan (Ciaran Hennelly 92).
Subs not Used: Richard Kumar, Martin Broaders, Patrick Doyle.

Attendance: 400 approx.

Match Report © Andrew Cuneen