Tom Clancy reports from the Market's Field
A Danny Morrissey header proved the difference as Limerick beat Bray Wanderers 1-0 at a freezing Markets Field on Friday evening.
In what was a tight game throughout, Limerick’s second shot on target from substitute Morrissey proved to be the difference over winless Bray.
Both sides came into the game on the back of horrendous defeats: Limerick losing 8-0 in Dundalk, while Bray were thumped 6-0 in Tallaght by Shamrock Rovers last time out.
Limerick’s Billy Dennehy failed a fitness test pre-match, meaning William Fitzgerald continued in the starting line-up. Bray welcomed Conor Kenna in their first eleven – which featured four players with Limerick connections.
Eoin Wearen went closest in a forgettable opening half, firing straight at Seagulls stopper Aaron Dillon after impressive play from Fitzgerald and striker Connor Ellis.
Bray’s shape cancelled out the Super Blues' threat, with Aaron Greene a peripheral figure for Dave Mackey’s men. Limerick enjoyed the majority of the possession but their slow build-up portrayed a side still hurting from their humiliation in Oriel Park.
Darren Dennehy headed narrowly wide from an early second-half corner as Limerick continued to dominate possession. However, Aaron Greene should have scored when he raced clear in the 66th minute; he fired straight at the on-rushing Brendan Clarke.
Barry Maguire, who played under-20 football with the Netherlands, made his debut from the bench for the Blues as 948 spectators braved the Limerick cold. Tommy Barrett then brought on Danny Morrissey for the tired looking Connor Ellis.
Morrissey found the net with what was one of his first few touches. The former Finn Harps striker found the net with a bullet header that flew past Dillon following a delicious Shane Tracy cross.
Bray posed little threat late on as Limerick sealed their second win and opened up a six point gap between themselves and the Seagulls.
Limerick: Brendan Clarke; Shaun Kelly, Tony Whitehead, Darren Dennehy, Shane Tracy; Cian Coleman (Barry Maguire. 69), Shane Duggan, Eoin Wearen, William Fitzgerald (Killian Cantwell 90+1), Daniel Kearns; Connor Ellis (Danny Morrissey 76).
Subs not used: Tommy Holland (gk), Colm O’Walsh-Loghlen, Alan Murphy, Henry Cameron.
Booked: Eoin Wearen (73).
Bray Wanderers: Aaron Dillon; Dan McKenna, Hugh Douglas, Conor Kenna, Kevin Lynch; John Sullivan (Darragh Noone 88), Paul O’Conor, Gary McCabe, Cory Galvin (Ger Pender 85), Ronan Coughlan (Daniel Kelly 80), Gary McCabe ©; Aaron Greene.
Subs not used: Evan Moran (gk), Sean Heaney, Andrew McGovern, Dylan Hayes
Booked: Dan McKenna (54), Hugh Douglas (56).
Referee: Anthony Buttimer (Cork).
Attendance: 948 (official).
Extratime.ie Player of the Match: Daniel Kearns (Limerick).