Mervue United 0 – 1 Limerick FC

Airtricity League First Division 

Limerick Scorer: Peter Hynes (83)

Friday 30th September 2011

Limerick left it late once again as they finally broke a brave Mervue United side’s resistance with sub Peter Hynes heading the only goal of the game just seven minutes from the end. Pat Scully will have to take some of the credit for securing the vital three points as two of his substitutes combined to deliver the late winner.

After an even enough opening period were the home side probably played the better football and created a couple of chances, the visitors upped their game in the second half to pour serious pressure on Ger Hanley’s goal. Until that late goal it looked like Hanley – who pulled off some magnificent saves – and his back four had done enough to put a dent in the Shannonsiders’ promotion hopes.

The home side started very brightly forcing three successive corners inside the opening five minutes but two poor deliveries and a David O’Brien effort straight at Barry Ryan was all that resulted. Limerick responded with Shane Treacy shooting straight at Hanley from a central position following a Paudie Quinn delivery.

Jeffery Judge then fired narrowly over from outside the box after just 10 minutes, while Jason Molloy latched onto a ball forward on the quarter hour mark before firing a low effort just past Barry Ryan’s right hand post.

An excellent passing movement from the home side with John Mountney, Etanda Nkololo, Marc Ludden all involved before Pat Hoban saw his well struck drive parried by Barry Ryan on 24 minutes. Two minutes later and Denis Behan raced onto a Shaun Kelly ball but he saw his low strike pushed away to safety by Hanley, while he also had a close range effort brilliantly blocked by James Casserley following a Rory Gaffney cross.

The visitors should have taken the lead on 31 minutes when the home side’s defence seem to go missing as Quinn found himself unmarked on the right of the box from a Joe Gamble through ball but he lifted his effort high and over Hanley’s crossbar with just the home keeper to beat.

David O’Brien had the ball in the Limerick net on 37 minutes from a Marc Ludden cross but referee Phil Caschera ruled it out for a foul on Barry Ryan. Once again a fine Mervue passing sequence ended with Hoban cutting inside from the left and unleashing a powerful low drive which Ryan did well to save at his near post.

Four minutes before the break and a Molloy cross field pass released O’Brien through on the right but he scuffed his effort with Ryan gathering his tamely hit shot. Another Gaffney ball into the home box caused problems before eventually being cleared by Casserley for a corner as the half ended scoreless.

Limerick emerged a different side after the break and had to make two early substitutions as Brian McCarthy replaced an injured Kelly and Sean Brosnan replaced Shane Tracy. Quinn picked up a loose pass from Marc Ludden before passing to sub Brosnan who skipped past Damien O’Rourke and striking a low shot which Hanley brilliantly pushed away for a corner.

The lively Brosnan’s cross then picked out Jeffery Judge on the edge of the box but his low fizzing shot just cleared Hanley’s left hand post with the keeper beaten on 57 minutes. The home keeper then denied Andrew Bhandarkar from close range with another good stop, while three Limerick corners followed as sub McCarthy eventually headed narrowly wide.

A dangerous ball into the box once again caused confusion for the home rear guard as Ludden almost headed into his own net but the ball eventually went out for a corner from which Brosnan headed just wide at the near post.

Gaffney then created space on the left before hitting a low curling effort which looked like giving him his first Blues goal and against his old club but Hanley somehow managed to get a hand to it and deny his former colleague that elusive first with nine minutes remaining.

Just when it looked like the home side were going to take at a share of the spoils Gaffney won a ball from O’Brien and passed to Brosnan who delivered an inviting cross into the six yard box for fellow sub Hynes to head past Hanley for what could be a very important Limerick goal come the end of October.

Mervue United: Ger Hanley, James Casserley, Marc Ludden, Damien O’Rourke (Noel Varley 57), Martin Conneely, David O’Brien, Patrick Hoban, Jason Molloy (Alex Lee 72), John Mountney, Etanda Nkololo, David Goldbey (Peter Dravins 81).
Subs not used: Barry McEntee, Michael Elwood, Kenneth Farrell, Brian O’Donoghue.
Booked: Marc Ludden 28, David Goldbey 60.

Limerick FC: Barry Ryan, Shaun Kelly (Brian McCarthy h/t), Andrew Bhandarkar, Corrie Treacy, Pat Purcell, Jeffrey Judge, Joseph Gamble, Shane Tracy (Sean Brosnan 51), Denis Behan, Padraic Quinn (Peter Hynes 66), Rory Gaffney.
Subs not used: John Frost, Garbhan Coughlan, Barry Sheedy, Shane Cusack.
Booked: Pat Purcell 45+1, Jeffrey Judge 50, Corrie Treacy 63, Denis Behan 84.

Referee: Philip Caschera.