Shane Fletcher bagged a brace while Barry Cotter opened his account as Limerick recorded their first win of the Under-17 National League, overcoming Wexford Youths 4-2 at Ferrycarrig Park on Sunday afternoon.
Manager Dave Dineen made three changes to the team that lined out in last weekend’s draw with Cobh Ramblers.
Out went Cory McManus, Stephen Nolan and Aaron Fitzgerald, with the trio replaced by debutant ‘keeper Matthew Dawson-Furey, Ben Quirke and Lee Wall.
After Cotter fired over early on, Wexford threatened after a mix-up in the visiting defence, with Dawson-Furey and his backline producing heroics to recover and block several attempts in the six-yard box.
Jesse Stafford-Lacey then shot off target and Cotter hit the woodwork after Patrick McDonagh’s delivery picked him out. But Limerick hit the front on the half-hour when McDonagh provided the cross and Fletcher supplied the finish, to add to his goal against Cobh.
Moments later, it got better for the young Shannonsiders when McDonagh again linked up well with Fletcher who doubled their lead. Stafford-Lacey was then denied by a fine save. Before the break, Wexford hit the crossbar although the whistle went for a foul on Dawson-Furey.
Early in the second half, Limerick extended their advantage when Wall scored. And after Wexford pulled a goal back, the visitors restored their cushion through Cotter.
The hosts were then denied by a fine save from Dawson-Furey in a one-on-one and, shortly after, they struck wide from close range. They grabbed a second late on when a free-kick from just outside the box was deflected into the net off Stafford-Lacey.
Limerick were reduced to ten men when Ben Quirke was shown a straight red card. Still, they threatened and Ger Barry was denied from close in, while Wexford hit the post with the ‘keeper beaten.
It was a slightly nervy finish for Limerick who – happy to get their first win under their belt – move up to fifth in the table as they built on last weekend’s first point of the season.
Next up is a trip to leaders Cork City on Saturday, 5 September. Kick-off at Bishopstown is 2pm.
Limerick: Matthew Dawson-Furey, Ger Barry, Jack Lynch, Ben Quirke, Seán Madigan, Shane Fletcher (Brandon Murphy 79), Kevin Fitzgerald ©, Lee Wall (Aaron Fitzgerald 73), Patrick McDonagh (Karl O’Sullivan HT), Jesse Stafford-Lacey, Barry Cotter. Goals: S Fletcher (2), L Wall, B Cotter.
Report Date: Sunday 30 August 2015