Limerick FC 3 – 1 Longford Town

Airtricity League First Division 

Limerick Scorers: Garbhan Coughlan (21),Shane Tracy (58),Shane Clarke (70)

Friday 3rd September 2010

Limerick comprehensively picked up all three points after a lacklustre affair on Shannonside.

In a game which appeared a highly open encounter early on, didn’t see many chances in the first few minutes, with the best chance falling to Peter Hynes who saw his drilled effort go agonizingly wide of Dave Ryan’s goal. Limerick’s first decent effort was from a set piece, Pat Purcell rising highest to head goalwards, the effort cause little trouble for the Longford stopper.

The visitors were dealt a blow in the early stages after Niall O’Reilly clashed with Peter White trying to keep the ball in play, the defender eventually having to be substituted, being replaced by Victor Ekanem. To add salt to “The Town’s” wounds, Limerick grabbed the opener only moments after, Garbhan Coughlan linked well with Stephen O’Flynn, and saw the chance to shoot from all of twenty-five yards. His looping effort dipped over Shanahans head, and dropped into the net. Coughlan will be one to watch for the future.

Literally a minute after young Coughlans goal, full back Sean Kelly found himself in an advanced position, attempting what can only be described as a cross shot. His wayward effort, somehow managed to sneak over everyones heads and nearly find itself nestling in the bottom corner, unfortunately for footballs sake, the ball fell just wide. Limerick were starting to get a grip on proceedings.

The remainder of the first half was played out without any real determination from either side, and with Limerick leading, one would expect more from the away side. Limerick led by a single Garbhan Coughlan goal going into the break.

Limerick came out all guns blazing once more, aided by the introduction of John Tierney, whose energy would play a big part in dominating the game for the home side. Limerick pressed to find that safety net of a second goal. It didn’t look as though it would arrive until the ball fell to the weaker foot of Shane Tracy after some lovely football. The ball was tossed around the eighteen yard box, and eventually, it landed on the right boot of Tracy, who slotted into the bottom corner to create a two goal gap between the sides.

Longford appeared to be chasing shadows, as Limerick passed with ease. Thomas Lyons, who returned into the starting eleven, kept the ball particularly well. Limerick appeared to be content with their two goal margin until Shane Clarke poked home from all of two yards, after a goalmouth scramble in the box. The substitute grabbed a well deserved goal for Limerick, a goal which is ended any doubts of a victory for the home side.

The onslaught didn’t end there however, in what seemed a peculiar effort from Shane Tracy, his free kick from forty yards which rattled the crossbar would have been a shoe-in for goal of the season. The Blues pressed again as a thirty yard lob from Stephen O’Flynn nearly embarrassed Shanahan, but the attempt went just wide. O’Flynn once more had an effort go just wide, as he glanced his head at the ball from a Shane Tracy corner. The ball flew past the far post.

Longford grabbed a late consolation from a Mark Salmon penalty, a decision given for handball. The midfielder stepped up confidently and slotted home, just past the reach of Limerick stopper, Dave Ryan.

Limerick will be delighted with the three points, although with Waterford, Monaghan and Shelbourne all winning around them, it‘s as you were in terms the race for the playoffs.

Limerick FC: Ryan, Kelly, Purcell, White, Rogers, Kiely (Tierney 56), Lyons (Heary 78), Sulllivan, Tracy, Coughlan (Clarke 61), O’Flynn.
Unused Subs: John McGuinness, Jeffrey Judge.

Longford Town: Shanahan, O’Reilly (Ekanem 9), Lester, Hyland, Deans, Lee, L Roche (Cowan 61), A Roche, Salmon, Hynes, Freeman.
Unused Subs: Cronin, Brady, Walsh.

Attendance: 483