Limerick FC 0 - 1 Waterford UnitedFri, Aug 31 2012
Waterford United made it four wins out of four against their Munster rivals Limerick with a well deserved one-nil victory on Shannonside thanks to a late winner from David Breen.
With a decent turnout of well over eight hundred, Limerick set out to win over the public with a jaw-dropping performance and positive result. What ensued was far from awe-inspiring from the home side, as a well organised and well drilled Waterford United left Jackman Park with all three points.
The game began in a typically scrappy fashion as most would expect from a Munster derby. As the sides began to settle after ten minutes, it was the away side gaining the foothold in the tie despite Dominic Foley seeing his header tipped over the crossbar in the opening stages.
Barry Ryan produced a world class save to deny a menacing Peter Higgins volley. The flight of the ball appeared to be en route to the top corner, but the outstretched fingertips of Ryan denied Higgins an opener.
Stephen Mulcahy’s untimely demise prompted the introduction of Paul Carey to the Waterford side. While many suspected this early change would hinder Waterford’s dominance, it merely strengthened it.
Limerick’s only real threat in the half came via the energetic Rory Gaffney who chased every lost cause. His volley in anger was the closest Limerick came in the opening forty-five, and even that went flying over the crossbar.
As the referee blew for half-time, it would have been Paul O’Brien who was the happier of the two bosses, after seeing his side dominate against the league leaders.
The second half began in a similar fashion to the first as Limerick looked rather clueless on the ball. In what was a strange move from Pat Scully, Robert Kluciar who has been consistent at centre half, was drafted in at right wing, despite both James McGrath and Derek O’Brien being available to him. His lack of composure and comfort in a wide area often cost Limerick possession; albeit at very little fault of his own, considering the irregularity of the task presented to him.
In a game of very little incident and discipline, Waterford always looked the more likely to find the breakthrough. Peter Higgins, Dylan Mernagh and Gary Dempsey hardly put a foot wrong all night. Their cause for a winner was helped with fifteen minutes to go as Limerick were reduced to ten.
John Frost advanced from left back to collect a knock down. Jeffrey Judge built up speed to challenge him for possession, but nastily went over the ball and produced a challenge worthy a straight red card. Referee Jim McKell had no option but to send Judge for an early shower as the challenge itself could easily have done serious damage to Limerick native, Frost.
Bizarrely, Limerick almost stole the three points just a minute after Waterford gained the numerical advantage courtesy of a dipping Shane Tracy free kick. The dead ball effort rose well over the Waterford wall and just dropped marginally past the crossbar, much to the relief of Packie Holden.
Just as it looked like the rather uneventful game would end in a stalemate, United struck on the counter. A break down the right wing saw the ball fall to the feet of Conor Coad. His effort was somewhat scrappy, but Barry Ryan could only parry to David Breen who was on hand to finish calmly into the bottom corner.
The boos rang out from Jackman Park at full time as their local side failed to produced once more in front of big crowd, in a big game. Waterford United are right back into the title race, but as before, it is still most certainly Limerick’s title to lose.
Limerick FC: Barry Ryan; Shaun Kelly, Paddy Purcell, Corie Treacy, Shane Tracy; Robert Kluciar (Stephen Bradley 53), Jeffrey Judge, Joe Gamble, Sean Brosnan (Derek O’Brien 50); Dominic Foley (Denis Behan 85), Rory Gaffney.
Unused Subs: Shane Cusack, Shane Guthrie, Cian Collins, David O'Leary.
Booked: C Treacy (8), Purcell (75).
Sent Off: Judge (75).
Waterford United: Packie Holden; Dylan Mernagh, David Breen, Stephen Mulcahy (Paul Carey 15), John Frost (Jamie Cross 76); Jack Doherty, Gary Dempsey, Peter White, Peter Higgins; Peter Keegan (Conor Coad 82), Sean Maguire.
Unused Subs: Robert Hughes, Craig Burns, Aidan McGrath, Ben Ryan.
Booked: Frost (32), White (39), Maguire (63).
Referee: James McKell.
Extratime.ie Man of the Match: Peter Higgins (Waterford United).
Andrew joined Extratime for the 2010 season and covers all the on-goings down in Limerick. Having first experienced the League of Ireland in 2002, Andrew became hooked, even at such an early age. He is currently studying English and New Media at the University of Limerick. You can contact him via Twitter @Cunneen92.