Limerick FC welcome Drogheda to Markets Field

Limerick FC entertain Drogheda United tomorrow night in the Airtricity League First Division at the Markets Field (7.45).

Both sides have had indifferent starts to the league campaign although arguably, both teams may have different ambitions for 2019.

Limerick FC have one point from two games having drawn with Longford Town on the opening night and losing out to Bray Wanderers 2-0 last Friday night.

Tommy Barrett’s men were up against it at the Carlisle Grounds as they were without defensive regulars Shane Tracy and Killian Brouder as well as winger Will Fitzgerald.

With Bray boasting a number of experienced players including Gabriel Sava and Paul Keegan, it was always going to be a big ask for the Shannonsiders to emerge with something.

In fact, the turning point of the game arrived after 35 minutes as Sava saved a penalty from striker Conor Ellis. It proved to be decisive as just five minutes later Joe Doyle opened the scoring for Wanderers.

Tommy Barrett’s men had the worst possible start to the second half as Paul Keegan blasted home from all of 25 yards to double Bray’s lead.

The one worry for Barrett will be the lack of goals for the side in the first two games. Ellis appears to be short on confidence and is in desperate need of a boost.

Drogheda United come to town off the back of a 3-0 defeat to Longford which will certainly give Limerick hope of gaining a result as they earned a point against Neale Fenn’s side on the opening night.

However, Drogs showed what they could do in the first game with a 4-0 demolition of Cobh Ramblers.

Tim Clancy has plenty of talent at his disposal including captain Sean Brennan, Thomas Byrne and Adam Wixted.

All have previous premier division experience as Drogheda look to go one better than last season’s playoff defeat to Finn Harps.

Clancy was sought after by Shelbourne in the off season but decided to remain loyal to the Boynesiders who gave him his first chance in management. Both managers began first team management last season.

Limerick are hopeful that Shane Tracy will be fit for the game after a knee injury picked up in the opening game. Killian Brouder returns to the squad.

SSE Airtricity League Premier Division, Carlisle Grounds, Wicklow 21/9/2018 Bray Wanderers vs Limerick Limerick’s Shane Tracy Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Laszlo Geczo

However Will Fitzgerald will be out. Fitzgerald is a loss as the Super Blues are struggling to create chances thus far.

One positive from last week’s defeat was the performance of goalkeeper Jack Brady who pulled off a number of saves to deny Bray.

Brady has wrestled the number one jersey from last season’s first choice Tommy Holland and is proving his worth so far with two solid displays.

With the experience of Shaun Kelly and Robbie Williams helping the likes of Tomas O’Connor so far this season, Limerick have looked quite solid in defence but it is at the other end of the pitch where major improvement will be needed.

However, the first division has already proved incredibly unpredictable with Shelbourne losing out to Cabinteely and Athlone starting with two wins so a slow start does not condemn Limerick to a season in the bottom half of the table and this will be the message that the management team will be keen to stress.

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