Limerick FC secured a superb 2-1 victory over Waterford FC at the Markets Field on Friday night thanks to a goal in each half from Billy Dennehy and captain Shane Duggan either side of a Bastien Hery equaliser. Both teams were reduced to ten men as Eoin Wearen and David Webster were sent off.
With just two minutes gone, Limerick FC conceded a penalty as Eoin Wearen was adjudged to have fouled Noel Hunt and was duly sent off as he was also judged to be the last man. It appeared to confuse many in the ground but goalkeeper Tommy Holland produced a superb save to deny Waterford captain Paul Keegan from 12 yards.
From the resulting corner, Waterford hit the crossbar following a flicked header although it was difficult to see who made the contact.
The visitors squandered an unbelievable chance to make the extra man count when Limerick midfielder Darren Murphy’s pass was intercepted by Bastien Hery. The Frenchman fed Noel Hunt who in turn played Courtney Duffus through but the striker slipped and lost control of the ball at the vital moment.
Despite many crosses from the ever present right back Dessie Hutchinson, Waterford struggled to break down the ten men. Limerick were awarded a penalty of their own as Will Fitzgerald was pulled back by David Webster and referee Damien McGraith had no hesitation in pointing to the spot. Billy Dennehy coolly converted the spot-kick to give the Super Blues the lead for the second week in a row.
Waterford midfielder Aborah went agonisingly close as his free-kick from the edge of the box struck the post. As we approached the half-time whistle, Waterford were also reduced to ten men as David Webster was shown a second yellow card for a challenge on Conor Ellis.
Limerick made a disastrous start to the second period as they surrendered possession on the edge of the opposition box and with all midfielders taken out of the game, former Limerick midfielder Bastien Hery drove through the centre of the Limerick defence before placing the ball over the advancing Holland.
Waterford began to overload the right hand side and it was from this avenue that their next opportunity came from. Noel Hunt’s volley was saved by Holland after the Ireland international had been played in by Hutchinson.
A deep cross from left back Dylan Barnett found its way to the back post and Hunt’s volley flashed across the face of goal.
As we entered the final ten minutes, Will Fitzgerald drew a good save from Matthew Connor. Moments later, Limerick captain Shane Duggan produced a moment of magic as he powered forward before unleashing an unstoppable shot from all of 30 yards which flew into the net to give the Shannonsiders a precious lead.
Limerick are now two points behind Sligo Rovers who have a game in hand and four points behind Bohemians. Tommy Barrett’s side face both teams in the coming weeks as we enter the most important part of the campaign.
Limerick FC: Tommy Holland, Killian Cantwell, Eoin Wearen, Killian Brouder, Billy Denenhy, Cian Coleman, Shane Duggan, Darren Murphy, Barry Maguire (Karl O’Sullivan 31), Will Fitzgerald, Conor Ellis (Danny Morrissey 71)
Subs not used: Jack Brady, Shaun Kelly, Tomas O’Connor, Adam Foley, Colman Kennedy.
Red Cards: Eoin Wearen (3), Killian Cantwell (78)
Waterford FC: Matthew Connor, Des Hutchinson, Kenny Browne, David Webster, Dylan Barnett, Paul Keegan (Carlos Wilson 78), Stanley Aborah, Bastien Hery, Sander Puri (Rory Feely 57), Noel Hunt, Courtney Duffus (Ishmaeil Akinade 57)
Subs not used: Noe Baba, Niall Corbet, Gary Comerford, Dean O’Halloran.
Yellow Cards: David Webster (33), Kenny Browne, (89)
Red Cards: David Webster (45)
Referee: Damien McGrath