Longford Town 0 – 2 Limerick FC

Airtricity League Div:1Limerick Scorers: Denis Behan (11,22)

Saturday 2nd June 2012


The stand out tie of the weekend in the First Division was Longford Town Vs
Limerick FC in Flancare Park on Saturday evening. It was first against
second with four points being the gap at the top in favour of Longford
before the game started. Adding to the significance of the occasion was the
fact that the summer break was looming and with a three week break both
sides were anxious for a win.

The previous meeting between the sides saw Longford come to Limerick and
take all three points, a similar result on Saturday would have seen a gap of
seven points and would leave Pat Scully’s men with a virtual mountain to
climb as they look to end an 18 year exile from the top tier. As it turned
out it was the large travelling support who go into the break with renewed
optimism as Limerick ran out 2-0 winners thanks to a brace from Abbeyfeale
native Denis Behan.

The constant rain added to the game as a spectacle as both sides looked to
play quick football. The playing surface was in immaculate condition and
right from the kick off the crowd were treated to plenty of attacking
football. It was Longford who had the games first real chance when Karl
Bermingham almost connected at the back post from a low driving cross from
Noel Haverty. Less than two minues later Limerick went ahead when a Denis
Behan shot from 20 yards took a delfection past Craig Hyland and into the
back of the net. The Limerick fans who were in fine voice all night were
sent into raptures as they began to sense this was going to be their night.

Limerick continued to press with some excellent flowing football as Stephen
Bradley and Dave O’Leary dominated the midfield battle. Ten minutes after
the opening goal another fine move by Limerick ended when Bradley supplied
Behan who found himself in space, at an angle, 25 yards from goal, with the
strikers confidence high Behan took two touches and unleashed a ferocious
drive into the net for Limericks second. The game continued in much the same
fashion until the break as Limerick completely outplayed the league leaders.

The second half began much like the first and it was very hard to see how
Longford could get back into this game, they were however handed a lifeline
when an incredibly bizzare series of decisions saw Limericks Stephen Bradley
sent off. Bradley had been booked for diving in the opening half which was
harsh in the extreme as obvious contact was made, then 15 minuts into the
second half Denis Behan jumped for a header uncontested and in almost total
astonishment held his hands in the air as a free kick was awarded against
him. From the resulting free kick Longford attacked down their left channel
and as James McGrath went to halt the attack the Longford player almost
embarrassingly dived with no contact whatsoever. The result of this was a
second yellow card for Stephen Bradley who happened to be somewhere near the
incident at the time.

At this point Limerick could be forgiven for thinking things were going to
go against them and drop their heads, however it merely acted as a catalyst
to strenghten their resolve. Every single Limerick player seemed to do the
work of two men as they not only contained Longford but also continued to
attack and go for the killer third goal. A late series of corners were
Longfords only real opportunity but even they proved fruitless as Limerick
announced their intentions for the remainder of the season by producing the
kind of clinical performance the rest of the division were dreading. The
attendance was approx 600 with 100 of those now enjoying a happy three week
summer break.