Limerick FC will be looking to build on last week’s crucial 1-0 victory over Bray Wanderers when they travel to United Park to take on Drogheda United tomorrow night (7.45).
Both teams have performed to a similar level this season and just one point separates them with Limerick in fourth and Drogheda in fifth. The teams have met at the Markets Field already this campaign with the game ending in a scoreless draw.
Last week’s victory over promotion chasing Bray was a huge morale boost for the whole club after well documented off the field issues arose again in recent weeks.
Limerick FC players were not paid for March until last week, three weeks after it was due. Due to significant budget cuts and a squad of almost fully amateur players being signed, it was expected that the problems of last season would not be replicated.
Unfortunately, the lack of investment has resulted in the same issues reoccurring.
Local businessman Jamie Daly and his family were announced as the main sponsor of the club’s kit at the start of the season and it was announced that a private group of investors were in talks with current owner Pat O’Sullivan with a view to a future takeover of the club.
However, in recent weeks it emerged that takeover talks had broken down between the current owner and the group and the investors would not be pursuing the club anymore due to a significant difference in valuation.
In further developments, in an official club announcement, Limerick FC stated that a new group of investors had been in detailed discussion with O’Sullivan with a view to investing in the first division club.
The consortium were represented by former Sligo Rovers, Dundalk and Galway United manager Sean Connor.
Pat O’Sullivan was accompanied to Friday’s game by Connor, much to the dismay of a small section of the Limerick support who have made it clear that they do not want to see the former Bohemians manager involved in any takeover deal.
One supporters was ejected from the Markets Field for holding a banner in protest.
In reaction to this news and just two hours before kick-off last week, the Daly family announced that they wanted to cut all ties with the club under the current ownership due to the negativity surrounding the club.
It included removing their advertising at the stadium and their name from the club’s jersey. Obviously, at such short notice, this couldn’t be achieved last week.
Given the circumstances leading up to the game, Limerick produced a performance full of character to earn the victory over a fancied Bray side.
Tommy Barrett was only able to name four substitutes as Karl O’Sullivan, Colm Walsh-O’Loghlen and Sean McSweeney were all missing.
Youngsters Lee Devitt and Ger Barry were making their first starts of the season and impressed on either wing. The Shannonsiders have only conceded two goals at home all season.
A result in Drogheda would be a major achievement considering McSweeney will still be missing along with newly suspended Jason Hughes who has accumulated five yellow cards.
Karl O’Sullivan will return from illness and the fitness of Walsh-O’Loghlen will be monitored.