Tuesday 26 September 2017

Brendan Clarke makes huge penalty save to ease Limerick's relegation worries

BRAY WANDERERS 1 LIMERICK 1

Gary McCabe of Bray Wanderers lines up a penalty against Limerick goalkeeper Brendan Clarke during the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division match between Bray Wanderers and Limerick FC at the Carlisle Grounds in Wicklow. Photo by David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile
Gary McCabe of Bray Wanderers lines up a penalty against Limerick goalkeeper Brendan Clarke during the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division match between Bray Wanderers and Limerick FC at the Carlisle Grounds in Wicklow. Photo by David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile

Chiedozie Ogbene scored a goal of the month contender and Brendan Clarke saved a penalty at the other end as Limerick eased their relegation worries and deprived controversy-ravaged Bray Wanderers of a morale-boosting victory at the Carlisle Grounds.

Despite a dominant first half display, Limerick found themselves a goal down at the interval, though it might have been different but for a terrific save just 28 seconds in from Bray goalkeeper Peter Cherrie.

Bray left-back Karl Moore’s attempted throw to Tim Clancy was intercepted by Rodrigo Tosi, the Brazilian turning to race in on goal only to be thwarted when Cherrie brilliantly batted away his shot out for a corner.

Cherrie again came to Bray’s rescue on 35 minutes. Visiting skipper Shane Duggan’s tenacity won the ball to set up Tosi who again brought a fine save at full stretch from the Bray keeper.

Limerick’s dominance mattered not, as two minutes later Bray’s best move of the half brought them the lead.

Gary McCabe swept a ball right to Keith Buckley whose arced delivery was met by Darragh Noone who headed powerfully to the far corner of the net.

Clarke made a big stop from Jason Marks shortly after the restart following a mistake by Barry Cotter before Limerick deservedly levelled on 49 minutes.

Nigerian Ogbene powered past Moore down the right, cleverly cut inside past two more defenders before drilling a low shot beyond Cherrie.

But Bray had been better since the restart with Aaron Greene firing into the side netting before volleying straight at Clarke.

The Limerick keeper was there on 71 minutes to thwart Marks once more after Greene’s superb ball put him in on the left.

And Clarke wasn’t going to be beaten again as he saved his most telling save of the game on 73 minutes.

McCabe was fouled by Cotter inside there area with referee Paul McLaughlin pointing to the spot.

But Clarke dived low down to his left to save McCabe’s spot kick.

Bray Wanderers: Cherrie; Buckley, Kenna, Clancy, Moore (Ellis, 83); Sullivan, Noone (Douglas, 78); Brennan, McCabe, Marks (Lynch, 74); Greene.

Limerick: B. Clarke; Cotter, Whitehead, O’Connor, Tracy; Hery; Kenny (B. Clarke, 74), Duggan, Lynch (O’Flynn, 62), Ogbene; Tosi.

Referee: Paul McLaughlin (Donegal)

Ref – P. McLaughlin  (Donegal)

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