Limerick FC lost 0-1 to St. Patrick’s Athletic at the Markets Field on Friday night as Ryan Brennan scored a second half winner to condemn Limerick to second bottom in the Airtricity League table. Limerick created enough chances to win the game but found goalkeeper Barry Murphy in good form.
Limerick created the first chance of the game as good hold up play from Danny Morrissey resulted in the striker teeing up Conor Clifford whose wayward shot failed to trouble Barry Murphy.
St. Pats caused Limerick problems in March when both full-backs Simon Madden and Ian Bermingham moved forward. It was the latter who set up the move which allowed Jake Keegan to shoot but Brendan Clarke watched it travel wide of the post.
The Saints had centre-back Kevin Toner to thank for the scores remaining level as he put in a tremendous block to deny Colm Walsh O’Loughlen who was played through on goal by Danny Morrissey.
On the half hour mark, the visitors best chance arrived as a layoff from Dean Clarke to Jake Keegan resulted in a dipping volley which had supporters worried before going over the bar.
Cian Coleman was making a lot of support runs when Limerick were in possession and one of these runs ended in a wayward attempt at goal.
Moments later, Coleman was involved once more as he robbed Ryan Brennan and when referee Ray Matthews waved advantage, captain Shane Duggan let fly from range which forced a good save from Barry Murphy. Amazingly, referee Ray Matthews refused to give Brennan a yellow card for the deliberate foul on Coleman having booked four players in quick succession for less.
Despite the visitors looking accomplished in possession, the Super Blues were leading the way with chance creation. Limerick centre-back Killian Brouder pounced on a loose clearance but his low shot was easily dealt with. It proved to be the final chance of an entertaining half.
The Super Blues had the first chance of the second half as Danny Morrissey turned Lee Desmond before being denied by a great save from Barry Murphy. The visitors caught Limerick on the break shortly afterwards as Dean Clarke showed a great turn of pace and played a perfectly waited pass to Jake Keegan but the former Galway striker was denied by Brendan Clarke.
Energetic midfielder Cian Coleman tried his luck from distance but Murphy watched his effort sail over the bar. Liam Buckley’s side should have taken the lead when the lively Dean Clarke evaded the challenge of Killian Cantwell before teeing up Conan Byrne but the winger’s effort was blocked by Eoin Wearen. A goalmouth scramble ensued and Ryan Brennan should have converted a deep cross from Simon Madden.
The Saints took the lead when Ryan Brennan showed great skill to lose Killian Brouder before placing a shot into the top corner past the helpless Brendan Clarke.
With a quarter of the game remaining, Barry Murphy continued to frustrate Limerick as he saved from point blank range from Karl O’Sullivan following a deep cross by Billy Dennehy.
Despite pushing hard for an equaliser, Limerick struggled to make use of one of many deep crossed in to the box. It is a damaging result for Limerick as Bohemians picked up a big victory against Bray. Tommy Barrett’s side are now second bottom and two points behind Sligo Rovers who have a game in hand.
Limerick FC: Brendan Clarke, Killian Cantwell, Killian Brouder, Billy Dennehy, Eoin Wearen, Conor Clifford, Cian Coleman (Mark O’Sullivan 82), Shane Duggan, Colm Walsh-O’Loughlen (Karl O’Sullivan (58), Will Fitzgerald (Daniel Kearns 68), Danny Morrissey.
Subs not used: Tommy Holland, Shane Tracy, Tony Whitehead, Barry Maguire.
Yellow Cards: Cian Coleman (21), Killian Brouder (23), Colm Walsh O-Loughlen (25), Eoin Wearen (90)
St. Patrick’s Athletic: Barry Murphy, Simon Madden, Kevin Toner, Lee Desmond, Ian Bermingham, Killian Brennan (Daragh Markey 65), Jamie Lennon, Ryan Brennan, Conan Byrne (Thomas Byrne 89), Dean Clarke, Jake Keegan (Christy Fagan 58).
Subs not used: Tyson Farago, Michael Barker, Graham Kelly, Michael Leahy.
Yellow Cards: Killian Brennan (22), Jamie Lennon (65)
Referee: Ray Matthews