Limerick FC advanced to the quarter finals of the Irish Daily Mail FAI Cup with a 2-1 victory over Cabinteely at the Markets Field. Goals from Conor Ellis and Barry Maguire ensured Limerick made it through despite a late scare as Kevin Knight pulled a goal back and Cabinteely piled on the pressure.
With the absence of a number of regular first team starters, Limerick began with a diamond 4-4-2 shape with a midfield comprising of Darren Murphy and Shane Tracy with Cian Coleman and Barry Maguire higher up the pitch. Danny Morrissey partnered Conor Ellis up front while Colman Kennedy made his first home start at centre-back.
Limerick created the first half chance of the game as a Shane Tracy free-kick was flicked goalwards by Colman Kennedy but was easily saved by former Bray goalkeeper Stephen McGuinness. Midfielder Murphy tried his luck from distance but the weak strike sailed wide of the goal.
The visitors first chance came through Luke Clucas after Limerick failed to clear a Kieran Waters cross from the left. The ball was hooked back into the six yard box by Joe Doyle but strike partner Clucas’ header was caught on the line by Tommy Holland.
Limerick took the lead in comical circumstances as Karl Manahan’s short back pass was pounced upon by the alert Conor Ellis who rounded McGuinness before slotting into an empty net. Moments later, Limerick should have extended their lead as a superb free-kick delivery from Shane Tracy found the onrushing Killian Brouder at the back post but his guided left footed effort was off target. Brouder should have had his second goal of the campaign and eased any fears for the home side.
As we approached half-time, McGuinness dropped a routine catch under pressure from Danny Morrissey and strike partner Ellis saw a shot cleared off the line and another effort blocked by McGuinness.
Both sides exchanged chances early in the second period. Cabinteely came close to equalising as a Jack Watson cross was powerfully headed towards goal by Joe Doyle but Holland reacted quickly to palm the ball to safety. Immediately, Barry Maguire picked up the ball and let fly but the strike was always rising over the crossbar.
Shortly afterwards, the Shannonsiders doubled their lead as a low cross from Ellis found Barry Maguire who’s initial effort was saved by McGuinness but the midfielder slammed home the rebound from six yards. Maguire should have had his second but the ball bounced off the Dutchman’s thigh before travelling just wide of the post following a McGuinness save from a Morrissey piledriver.
Cabinteely struggled to make any clear cut chances in their search to pull a goal back. As we entered the final quarter, a tame Kieran Waters free-kick was gathered by Holland at his near post. However, the Dublin outfit did pull a goal back as we entered injury time as Kevin Knight pounced on a poor clearance from Limerick’s Killian Brouder from a corner kick.
Cabo almost equalised as Jack Tuite’s side footed effort was saved by Holland. Pat Devlin’s side piled on the pressure but failed to grab the equaliser which would have taken the game to extra time. Limerick will now join the likes of Bohemians, Cork City and Dundalk in the last eight.
Limerick FC: Tommy Holland, Shaun Kelly, Eoin Wearen(Killian Brouder 8), Colman Kennedy, Billy Dennehy, Cian Coleman, Darren Murphy, Shane Tracy (Karl O’Sullivan 55), Barry Maguire, Danny Morrissey, Conor Ellis (Will Fitzgerald 77)
Subs not used: Jack Brady, Colm Walsh-O’Loughlen, Adam Foley, Ger Barry.
Yellow Cards: Shane Tracy (53), Darren Murphy (78)
Cabinteely: Stephen McGuinness, Daniel Blackbyrne, Jack Tuite, Kevin Knight, Karl Byrne, Jack Watson, Karl Manahan (Eoghan Morgan 75), Keith Dalton, Kieran Waters, Joe Doyle (Jean Yves Poame 60), Luke Clucas (Dean Casey 60)
Subs not used: Jack Menton, Robert McGee, Sean Fitzpatrick, Andrew O’Reilly.
Yellow Cards: Kevin Knight (69), Karl Byrne (71)
Referee: Anthony Buttimer