MATCH REPORT: WILLIAMS POWERS LIMERICK TO ANOTHER WIN
Robbie Williams rose to head Limerick to a late win as they overcame Bohemians on a 1-0 scoreline at Thomond Park on Monday evening, to secure their third victory in the space of just six days.
In an even opening, it was almost the midway point of the opening period before the first real chance arrived as Dinny Corcoran shot narrowly over, before Craig Curran saw his effort saved by Dean Delany.
Past the half-hour mark, Corcoran headed off target when again well placed close to goal, and at the other end Delany got down smartly to push Carel Tiofack’s stinging 20-yard shot around the post.
On 54 minutes, Shane Cusack was called into action to push away substitute Chris Lyons’ strike from outside the area.
Midway through the half, Bohs had a let-off when Joe Gamble found space in the box and his low cross was somehow fired over inside the six-yard area by Samuel Oji.
The visitors then went close through centre-half Neil Yadolahi but Cusack saved well from his header.
But, soon after, there was no denying Williams as he got up to power Stephen Bradley’s free-kick to the top corner on 80 minutes.
For the game, Stuart Taylor made two changes to the side that lined out in the win at Dundalk 72 hours earlier as Dave O’Leary returned from a knee injury to replace Jason Hughes in midfield, while a groin injury ruled out goalkeeper Barry Ryan as Cusack came in for his fifth appearance of the year.
Early on, Curran headed wide from a Rory Gaffney cross before the game was stopped for almost eight minutes. That was for Shane Murray who received lengthy treatment on the halfway line following a firm but fair tackle from O’Leary, with the 21-year-old worryingly stretchered off.
Shortly after the game resumed, both sides threatened. Firstly, Patrick Nzuzi got past Ryan McEvoy down the right but his low cross was well cut out by Roberto Lopes.
Then at the other end Karl Moore pressured Oji well and the ball fell to Corcoran who swept a shot just over Cusack’s bar from eight-yards.
On 27 minutes, Limerick pressured Bohemians well, and Tiofack had a shot blocked in the box. The ball eventually came back out to Williams whose cross was challenged for by Bradley, with it falling to Curran but after getting it out of his feet he shot at Delany.
On 31 minutes, the Gypsies had another good chance when Keith Buckley’s cross from the right was onto the head of Corcoran but from close range he headed over under little pressure.
Moments later, Tiofack and Gaffney caused some worry for Bohs in the box but the latter’s effort was across goal, with Curran too far away to get to it.
Five minutes before the break, some great interplay by Limerick outside the box ended with Gaffney teeing up Tiofack but his powerfully-struck shot was pushed behind by Delany.
Soon after, Oji headed off target from O’Leary’s corner, and Gaffney had a shot from a difficult angle deflected wide deep into the four minutes of stoppage time, as the sides went in scoreless at the break.
Early in the second half, Gaffney tried his luck from range but his effort didn’t trouble Delany as it flew over.
On 54 minutes, Limerick made their own problems and Lyons’ shot was pushed away by Cusack. The home stopper then came to claim Moore’s free-kick but he slipped on the wet surface, the ball luckily for Limerick bouncing wide.
Taylor’s side were holding plenty of possession without really threatening the Bohs backline. On 63 minutes, substitute Barry Sheedy cut in from the right and fired over from 25-yards as he looked to get the hosts going.
On 68 minutes, Gamble’s low cross was fired over by Oji, and shortly after, Byrne drilled a low shot from a tight angle on the left of the box that Cusack pushed away before Stephen Folan cleared the danger.
As Bohs continued to show a threat, they went close from a free-kick, Cusack forced into a good save from Yadolahi.
But Limerick broke the deadlock ten minutes from time when Williams rose to power Bradley’s free-kick to the top corner, which was enough to add to their wins over Shamrock Rovers and Dundalk over the past week.
Limerick: Shane Cusack, Patrick Nzuzi, Samuel Oji, Stephen Folan, Robbie Williams, Dave O’Leary, Joe Gamble ©, Stephen Bradley, Carel Tiofack (Barry Sheedy 55), Rory Gaffney (Shaun Kelly 86), Craig Curran. Goal: R Williams (80). Booked: S Oji (29), R Williams (71), P Nzuzi (81), J Gamble (84), C Curran (88), S Folan (90+3). Unused Subs: Nathan Murray (GK), Jason Hughes, Kieran Hanlon, Darragh Rainsford, Tony Whitehead.
Bohemians: Dean Delany, Derek Pender, Roberto Lopes, Neil Yadolahi, Luke Byrne, Dave Mulcahy ©, Keith Buckley, Shane Murray (Chris Lyons 19, Dave Scully 84), Ryan McEvoy, Karl Moore (Andy Mulligan 71), Dinny Corcoran. Booked: C Lyons (80). Unused Subs: Greg Murray (GK), Dan Byrne, Darragh Reynor, Michael Barker.
Referee: Seán Grant (Wexford). Attendance: 1,048 (Official).