Tuesday 20 March 2018

Shamrock Rovers close in on third with solid away win in Limerick

Limerick 0 Shamrock Rovers 2

Shamrock Rovers manager Stephen Bradley and players applaud Shamrock Rovers supporters
Shamrock Rovers manager Stephen Bradley and players applaud Shamrock Rovers supporters

SHAMROCK ROVERS closed the gap on third-place Derry City after a comfortable victory on another dismal night for Limerick fans at the Markets Field.

Limerick, who haven’t won at home in the league since early June, are now looking at a relegation battle with their supporters growing increasing frustrated after another poor performance.

Goals in either half from David McAllister and Ronan Finn separated the sides and left Neil McDonald’s side three points from the drop zone.

Dean Clarke fired over inside the opening minute after being set up by Chiedozie Ogbene and new Hungarian signing Peter Berki, with David Webster seeing his shot clear the bar at the other end.

The visitors should have took the lead ten minutes in, but Brendan Clarke pulled off a brilliant double save from Brandon Miele and McAllister (right) from a Finn corner.

Trevor Clarke was inches out as Rovers continued to press and Simon Madden was stopped by a crisp tackle from Joe Crowe on the edge of the area approaching the half hour.

But Tomer Chencinski had to be alert to keep out a long-range Lee-J-Lynch strike, Limerick’s only shot on target up to that point, and Ogbene headed a Clarke free outside the far post.

However, Limerick’s defensive frailties from set-pieces this season was once again exposed when the unmarked McAllister headed home a Miele corner four minute from the break. Gary Shaw had another free header immediately after the break, but nodded straight into Clarke’s hands as Rovers continued to use possession fluently.

The Dubliners, minutes after they won a ninth corner, double their advantage when Finn supplied a low finish after being supplied by Shaw on the hour.

Shaw was denied again by Clarke moments later, while Rodrigo Tosi almost pulled one back against the run of play with a header from a Clarke free 17 minutes from time.

LIMERICK FC – Clarke, Cotter, Whitehead, Crowe, O’Connor, Lynch, Duggan (Tosi 64) Clarke (Kenny 55) Hery, Ogbene, Berki (Coughlan 55)

SHAMROCK ROVERS – Chencinski, Webster, Grace, Connolly (Bolger 78), Finn, Miele, Madden, Shaw (O’Connor 83) Clarke, McAllister, Doona (King 64)

REF –  G Kelly (Cork)

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