Limerick FC to take on Derry in rescheduled game.
Limerick FC make the long trip to Maginn Park in Buncrana, Donegal for the re-arranged fixture against Derry City on Tuesday evening (kick-off 7.45 pm). This is the second time the club have had to make the trip after the game was abandoned in March due to floodlight failure. The game had been rescheduled for the 25th of March but was cancelled due to the tragic death of Derry City captain Ryan McBride.
The Shannonsiders arrive to Derry’s temporary home unbeaten in three league games following victories over St. Patricks Athletic, Drogheda United and last Friday night’s 1-1 draw with basement club Galway United. The Super Blues took the lead in the game through a Robbie Williams header. However, a poor second half performance was punished by a screamer from Galway midfielder David Cawley with five minutes remaining.
Interim boss Willie Boland admitted that Limerick did not deserve the victory on their second half performance. Speaking in the aftermath of the game, Boland said;
” Unfortunately, we came out in the second half and you have to give credit to Galway, they were a bit more positive and we didn’t deal with that as well as in the first-half. The ball retention wasn’t as good.”
Limerick looked comfortable in the first-half but they invited pressure in the second period. In saying that, it took a wonder strike from David Cawley to earn the draw for Galway. Boland admitted that Galway created very little but conceded that his side were asking for trouble due to their approach:
“The goal they scored was a wonder goal from 25 yards and other than that they didn’t have many clear cut chances outside of set pieces. We looked as if we were containing them but we needed to play a lot better than that in the second half.”
The former Cardiff City midfielder and current Limerick FC Academy Director spoke to the players after the game in a bid to rectify what went wrong in the second-half:
“We spoke about it after the game and we understand where we went wrong there. We should have been higher up the park. and more importantly we should have had better ball retention.”
In preparation of the trip to Donegal, Boland is focusing on the positives since he has taken charge of the team:
“Well, they (Limerick players) just have to look at what they have done for the last three games. You don’t just dwell on the second-half of the third game. We’ve got seven points out of nine available. They are a good bunch of lads. They are disappointed with the result tonight (Galway), but they are professional and will be ready and focused for the Derry game.”
In a week where the club have finished taking applications for the permanent position, a win would surely make Boland a front runner for the job full-time. However, publicly, it is unknown whether he wants the job on a full-time basis if he was to be chosen. Limerick have no fresh injury concerns heading into the game although it is the club’s fourth game in 11 days and will be followed by a trip to Tallaght to face Shamrock Rovers just three days later.
Derry City have been on a dreadful run since the sudden death of their captain and leader Ryan McBride. The Candystripes haven’t won for five games and have lost four of those. The young Derry side won all four of their opening fixtures and were tipped as possible title challengers. A 1-1 draw at the Shoowgrounds in Sligo put an end to the run of defeats and Shiels is looking to build on that against Limerick:
“Limerick are a good team but a win would take us above them in the table.”
“If we can produce a good performance and put away our chances, hopefully we have the right tactics to get the right result.”
Derry will once again be without important duo Rory Patterson and Aaron McEneff while Barry McNamee remains a doubt. Shiels has bemoaned the loss of such experienced players and singled out the loss of McNamee as a great one:
“Barry’s experience would be of great benefit to the team and would boost the dynamic of the team,” Shiels stated.
The Derry boss is confident that his side can produce a performance at Maginn Park where he has been satisfied with the players display overall:
“We have played well at Maginn Park this season, with the exception of the game with Finn Harps, and our only other poor display was away to Cork.”
The last time Limerick played a competitive game against Derry, they won 0-1 in the EA Sports cup semi-final back in August. The abandoned game was all square at 1-1 before it was cut short.