Diarmuid Kearney reports from Markets Field
Two goals by Mikey Drennan and a stunner by Raffaele Cretaro was enough to give Sligo Rovers all three points after a hard earned 3-1 win over Limerick at the Markets Field.
Despite Shane Duggan pulling a goal back for his side, Sligo looked in control for most of the game as Limerick’s lack of depth is proving a huge issue to their season.
Another loss for Tommy Barret’s side almost guarantees them a spot in the relegation playoff, as they bid to try avoid the drop down to the First Division.
The win for Sligo sees them ahead of Limerick by eight points with a game in hand, Sligo’s safety looks almost guaranteed after tonight’s proceedings.
In a half of very few chances, Limerick started the brighter as Karl O’Sullivan almost found the net early on but his shot was sent straight at Mitchell Beeney in the Sligo goal.
The first half was very possession heavy but neither side could crack the other down as it would take until the half way through the first half for Sligo to register a shot with Rhys McCabe taking an effort from outside the box which flew over the crossbar.
The aforementioned McCabe would only play until the 31stminute coming off injured being replaced by Cretaro.
A devastating result two weeks ago losing 5-0 to Bohemians was sure to have shaken Limerick considerably going into tonight’s game and they failed to create any clear cut chances as the clock ticked towards half tiem.
Sligo hit the front three minutes before the break as Drennan headed home a Cretaro cross after Limerick failed to clear a Sligo cross a few moments previous.
Frustrations began to show amongst the home support as Limerick never looked like troubling the Bit O’Red. Billy Dennehy came close to scoring late in the half but his effort was well saved by Beeney.
The start of the second half looked more fruitful for the Shannonsiders as Will Fitzgerald came close after the restart but his effort was skied over the crossbar. Limerick’s next best effort fell to Barry Maguire, but his shot from outside the area just went over the crossbar.
The superblues should have equalised in the 50thminute as O’Sullian was sent through on goal but his scuffed effort was saved easily by Beeney
A relegation play-off looked likely for Limerick when Drennan was brought down inside the box in the 53rdminute. The Sligo forward stepped up and calmly dispatched the spot kick sending Tommy Holland the wrong way.
Despite being 2-0 down Limerick were still in the fight and managed to pull a goal back in the 63rdminute as captain Duggan manged to convert with a low shot from a Dennehy crossed free kick.
Limerick quickly fell further behind just a minute later though thanks to a remarkable Cretaro goal. His lovely solo run ended with a high shot from outside the box into the top corner, one to add to the career highlight reel!
Limerick failed to make anything out of the remaining half hour of the contest with fatigue becoming a major factor amongst some of the Shannonsiders younger players. The home side did miss some unforgiveable chances in this game and will hope to focus on the upcoming FAI Cup game and potential play-off decider if they are to rectify their season.
Limerick:Tommy Holland; Killian Cantwell (Shaun Kelly 46), Killian Brouder (Darren Murphy 79), Eoin Wearen, Billy Dennehy; Cian Coleman, Barry Maguire, Shane Duggan; Will Fitzgerald, Conor Ellis (Danny Morrissey 54), Karl O’Sullivan.
Subs not used:Jack Brady, Shane Tracey, Colm Walsh-O’Loughlin, Ger Barry
Sligo Rovers:Mitchell Beeney; Seámus Sharkey, John Mahon, Patrick McClean, Regan Donelon; Jack Keaney, Rhys McCabe (Raffaele Cretaro 31), Lee-J Lynch, Adam Wixted (Liam Kerrigan 71), Kris Twardek (Niall Morohan 90), Mikey Drennan
Subs not used:Ed McGinty, Darren Collins, Lewis Morrison
Booked:Séamus Sharkey (32)
Extratime.ie Man of the Match:Mikey Drennan
Cretaro produces a goal of the season contender, a goal for the ages by a player for the ages.— Sligo Rovers (@sligorovers) August 17, 2018
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