Limerick FC aim to close gap on relegation rivals Bohemians

Limerick FC travel to North Dublin on Friday night to take on fellow strugglers Bohemians at Dalymount Park (kick-off 7.45 pm).

Tommy Barrett’s men will be looking to build on an impressive 2-1 win over Waterford FC last week. A first half penalty from Billy Dennehy was cancelled out by former Limerick player Bastien Hery before captain Shane Duggan produced a moment of magic to score the winner for the Markets Field outfit.

Unfortunately, Limerick will be without the services of defensive duo Killian Cantwell and Eoin Wearen due to suspension. Wearen was dismissed after just three minutes against Waterford. Replays show that the red card was exceptionally harsh as the Dubliner appeared to make little contact with former Irish international Noel Hunt. Cantwell is suspended due to picking up five yellow cards.

Wirth only one fit senior centre-back in the squad, manager Tommy Barrett may be forced to change shape for the big game. Limerick finished with a back three of Cantwell, Killian Brouder and Dennehy last week. The team looked very open which may not suit Barrett in such a vital game.

Shaun Kelly could slot in next to Brouder and Dennehy in a back three with Will Fitzgerald and Karl O’Sullivan as wing backs. However, that is a lot of responsibility to place on young players. Barrett has admitted that the game would come too soon for young centre-back Tomas O’Connor.

Midfielder Darren Murphy has impressed greatly since joining the club from Cobh Ramblers. He has joined both the departed Chiedozie Ogbene and current midfielder Cian Coleman in signing for the club having been part of a successful Cork underage side. The relentless energy both Coleman and Murphy bring, particularly when pressing the opposition will be vital to Limerick on Friday. Captain Shane Duggan will be hoping to add to Friday night’s superb winning goal.

Speaking to Sporting Limerick ahead of the game, Barrett was full of praise for goalkeeper Tommy Holland who ran club captain Duggan close for the club’s player of the month.

“You have to remember as well he is just out of the under-19 set up. He was born in 1998 so he’s still only 20 years old. He has got enough experience so far for a goalkeeper of his age. He’s good enough to be in there. I’ve always had faith in him. I think he is going to be a very good League of Ireland ‘keeper. He will be the goalkeeper for us for years to come I think.”

Barrett says that his team will go to Dublin in search of the much needed win and will not be cautious in their approach.

“I think at this time of year its about winning games. Obviously you don’t want to concede goals but they way we like to play is open. At the start of the year we were looking to keep it tight and compact and it wasn’t working for us and we weren’t creating chances so we will go up there and try our best to score some goals.”

There are currently four points separating Limerick and Bohemians with nine games to go as both desperately attempt to avoid both the automatic relegation place and the promotion/relegation playoff place. They have met on three occasions this season with all of them ending in low scoring draws.

At the Markets Field both meetings have ended 1-1 with two late Bohemians equalisers in each game. On the last occasion in June, Dan Casey’s 85th minute leveller cancelled out Barry Maguire’s opener. At Dalymount Park last April, the game ended in a 0-0 draw.

Referee: Derek Tomney

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