Limerick FC earned a morale boosting 3-1 victory over Longford Town at the Markets Field on Friday night. Goals from Tomas O’Connor, Kieran Hanlon and Lee Devitt secured the victory. Aaron Dobbs had equalised briefly for Longford in the first half.
Limerick had a superb start to the game when Shane Tracy’s corner delivery was met powerfully by Tomas O’Connor to find the net via the post. Physical striker Kieran Hanlon tried to lob goalkeeper Lee Steacey from all of 35 yards but the ball evaded the crossbar.
Longford Town equalised with their first meaningful attack as a dangerous cross from Anto Breslin was headed to the net by Aaron Dobbs. In a topsy turvy encounter, the home side re-took the lead as Shaun Kelly’s cross from the right was brilliantly swept home by Hanlon.
At the beginning of the second half, Limerick should have extended their lead when a missed clearance from Conor Kenna was capitalised on by Karl O’Sullivan but the winger’s lob just cleared the crossbar.
Moments later, Tommy Barrett’s men did extend their advantage as Lee Devitt was played through by Clyde O’Connell and the winger calmly slotted the ball into the far corner of the net.
As we approached the hour mark, Longford came close to pulling a goal back as Sam Verdon’s header just cleared the crossbar. Free-kick specialist Shane Tracy almost caught Steacy out but the goalkeeper managed to claw the ball away from the top corner of the net.
Limerick were defending comfortably despite Longford’s possession but winger Adam Evans cross from the left almost nestled in the far corner of Brady’s net but much to the relief of the small but vocal Limerick support, the ball travelled wide.
With five minutes remaining, Limerick were beginning to retreat and as a result of failing to clear, Sam Verdon’s volley was pushed away by Jack Brady.
That proved to the last attack for Longford as Limerick professionally managed five additional minutes to gain a vital three points. In a week when the club lost Killian Brouder and Karl O’Sullivan as well as losing Sean McSweeney to the Irish University squad, it was a particularly pleasing win for Tommy Barrett and co. The result means Limerick go within six points of second placed Drogheda United
Limerick FC: Jack Brady, Shaun Kelly (Edmund O’Dwyer 88), Robbie Williams, Clyde O’Connell (Ger Barry 68) Shane Tracy, Jason Hughes, Darren Murphy, Lee Devitt, Karl O’Sullivan, Ger Barry, Kieran Hanlon (Adam Foley 88)
Substitutes not used: Tommy Holland, Andy Quaid
Longford Town: Lee Steacey, Shane Elworthy, Anto Breslin, Mick McDonnell, Conor Kenna, Dean Zambra, Aodh Dervin, Jack Doherty (Dylan Grimes 76), Dean Byrne (Adam Evans 55), Sam Verdon Aaron Dobbs
Substitutes not used: Jack Menton, Karl Fitzsimons, Carlton Ubaezuonu