Mervue United -v- LimerickFri, Jul 13 2012
It has been a tough few weeks for Johnny Glynn’s Mervue United side as despite scoring seven times in the three weeks since the return from the mid-season break, they have not managed to register a single point and now find themselves on the back of four successive defeats.
When you are down at the bottom sometimes luck deserts you and that is especially true when results continue to go against you. One up against SD Galway in the Galway city derby they failed to convert further chances to secure the points and their city neighbours bounced back to score twice for a first win of the season. Three up against league leaders Longford and a combination of inexperience, injuries to key players, two sending’s off and a debatable injury time penalty allowed the midlanders grab an amazing 5-4 win two weeks ago.
Two down in Finn Park last week, a brace either side of the break from Alan Murphy had Glynn’s side in line for at least a share of the points but the concession of a third goal ensured another pointless night.
Glynn’s side couldn’t ask for a tougher game to turn their fortunes around with Pat Scully’s second placed Limerick side arriving at Fahy’s Field, a ground they have an unblemished record at. Mervue have proved they have the ammunition to score goals but they need to improve on the concession of soft goals at the opposite end if they are to start picking up points.
Goalkeeper Ronan Forde (fractured finger) and Kenny Farrell (ankle) remain on the sidelines but Michael McSweeney (hamstring) could return having trained all week, while both wingers Tom King and Jason Molloy serve one game bans. Top scorer Pat Hoban, who was suspended, and James Casserly (work) will return to the squad having missed last week’s 3-2 loss to Finn Harps. Glynn has also signed former Galway Utd and Salthill Devon player Cian McBrien but he will not feature this week.
Glynn on Friday night’s game “The lads have trained hard again all week and we face another tough tie against probably the best squad in the division. Limerick will come here off the back of yet another defeat to Waterford, so they will be very keen to bounce back. They will present us with a big challenge on Friday night, but one we are looking forward to.”
Pat Scully’s Limerick side will look to bounce back from a third defeat of the season at the hands of Waterford Utd following last week’s 2-1 loss at the RSC, the top rated pitch in the country as per the latest PFAI ratings released on Thursday.
Limerick have been here twice already this season as they followed up previous defeats to Waterford by taking all three points against Mervue. A 2-1 win was secured in Fahy’s Field back in March courtesy of a contentious second half penalty from Shane Tracy. Scully’s side also won the meeting in May at Jackman Park with two second half goals from Denis Behan and Cian Collins. Former Mervue star Rory Gaffney also returns to his old stomping ground as Limerick’s top scorer but has yet to hit the net against his former club in three games since his transfer 12 months ago.
Scully will have to plan without the suspended midfield duo of Stephen Bradley and Steven McCann, while former Galway winger Derek O’Brien and Cian Collins will miss out through injury. Joe Gamble, who scored a cracker to open the scoring at Fahy’s Field back in March, and Jeffery Judge could return to the starting eleven in place of the suspended duo having replaced both players in the second half last week.
If Limerick are to keep the pressure on league leaders, Longford, they will need to summon a quick response after last week’s defeat to keep their title credentials afloat, something a young Mervue side will test on Friday evening.
Referee: Kevin O’Regan (Kerry)
Limerick have a one hundred per cent record at Fahy’s Field winning all three previous visits. They have also scored twice in all three visits, winning both last season’s games 2-0 and 2-1 in March.
Mervue have yet to take a point of Limerick at Fahy’s Field but did have a better record at Terryland Park, in the three games there, Mervue won one, drew one and lost one.
Having spent the majority of his footballing career at Mervue United, Limerick’s Rory Gaffney was, up until two weeks ago, the club’s record LOI goal scorer with 15 goals but Pat Hoban’s brace against Longford has moved him onto 16 goals.
Mervue Utd 13/2, Draw 100/30, Limerick 4/11.
Away win 2-1
Mervue United Injured: Ronan Forde (Fractured finger) and Kenny Farrell (ankle).
Mervue United Doubtful: Michael McSweeney (hamstring)
Mervue United Suspended: Tom King and Jason Molloy.
Limerick FC Injured: Derek O’Brien and Cian Collins
Limerick FC Doubtful: None
Limerick FC Suspended: Stephen Bradley and Steven McGann.