Friday 24th September 2010
Waterford United continued their promotion push with a comprehensive 3-0 win against Munster rivals Limerick at the RSC on Friday night. Two goals from Liam Kearney and a Willie John Kiely strike earned the points against an out-of-sorts Limerick side that lacked any real fluency throughout.
Stephen Henderson named an unchanged starting eleven following their 6-1 win against Mervue United last weekend. Five Limerick changes saw David O’Leary, Dave Rogers, Thomas Heary, Pat Purcell and Bobby Ryan come into the starting squad.
Waterford United started the game quickest and opened the scoring after just four minutes with a goal of real quality. Timmy Purcell started the move down the right side and played a low through ball into Willie John Kiely. Kiely controlled, turned brilliantly and his pinpoint cross to the back post found the unmarked Liam Kearney who fired a right footed strike past Dave Ryan in the Limerick goal.
Limerick’s first real chance arrived eight minutes later but Pat Purcell fired over from a Bobby Ryan cross. David O’Leary also had a change but his strike was saved by Burns.
The home side’s lead was doubled after 19 minutes following a defensive blunder by Thomas Heary. A long ball from the back was terribly miscontrolled by Heary and the ball fell to Willie John Kiely who lobbed the ball over the stranded Dave Ryan for his 14th league goal of the season.
The frantic opening to the game continued three minutes later as Waterford United wasted the opportunity to end the game as a contest. Limerick captain Pat Purcell hand a hold of Kiely as he controlled the ball inside the penalty box and Referee Graham Kelly correctly pointed to the spot. Alan Carey stepped up but his low penalty was well saved by Ryan.
Just on the half hour, Liam Kearney made a darting run down the left leaving Thomas Heary in his wake, but his cross was saved by Ryan. Four minutes before half time Limerick had a chance to get back into the game. John Tierney played the ball into Shane Clarke who controlled and turned brilliantly but his strike was blocked.
The first chance of the second period fell to Limerick but Stephen O’Flynn’s free kick failed to test Kevin Burns. Murray then found Kearney who crossed to Sullivan but he fired wide. John Kearney then found himself one-on-one with Ryan 6 yards from goal and squared to Sullivan but he amazingly shot straight at Ryan when it seemed easier to score.
Minutes later O’Flynn and Lyons both went close after a poor punch clear by Waterford keeper Kevin Burns, but they couldn’t force the ball home. Limerick began to get back into the game now and Shane Clarke fired a superb volley off the crossbar within minutes of his introduction. Shane Tracy then crossed to the back post but Stephen O’Flynn’s header was well saved by Burns.
The Limerick pressure failed to penetrate the Waterford defence and the contest was ended in the final minute of the ninety as Liam Kearney grabbed his second of the game. Paul Murphy’s superb through ball set Kearney away and the winger used his pace to race clear and fire the ball into the bottom right corner beyond the hand of Ryan in the Limerick goal.
The win leaves Waterford United four points behind Derry City at the top and just one point behind Monaghan United in second. For Limerick, the defeat means that they are now seven points off a play-off spot.
Waterford United: Kevin Burns, Alan Carey, Seamus Long, Kevin Murray, Michael Coady, Timothy Purcell (Paul Murphy 46), Gary Dunphy, John Kearney, Liam Kearney (Kevin Waters 91), Vincent Sullivan (James O’Sullivan 92), William John Kiely.
Unused Substitutes: Chris Konopka, John Hayes.
Limerick FC: David Ryan, David O’Leary, David Rogers, Thomas Heary (Brian O’Callaghan 54), Pat Purcell, Peter White, Bobby Ryan (Shane Tracy 67), Thomas Lyons (John Sullivan 60), Stephen O’Flynn, John Tierney, Shane Clarke.
Unused Substitutes: Garbhan Coughlan, John McGuinness.
Referee: Graham Kelly.