St Patrick's Athletic back on track as they edge to victory against Limerick
St Patrick's Athletic 1 Limerick 0
IAN BERMINGHAM led by example to get St Patrick’s Athletic back on track with the only goal of the game against Limerick at Richmond Park last night.
Captain Bermingham’s winner gave Liam Buckley’s side a second victory in five games and that enabled them to leapfrog both Limerick and Derry City up into the top half of the table.
With three changes from the team that played in their defeat at Shamrock Rovers last week, and first starts of the season for midfielder James Doona andstriker Jake Keegan, St Pat’s struggled to settle in a scrappy opening.
It was Limerick, with Cian Coleman breaking up play well in midfield, who showed early promise on the counter.
St Pat’s Barry Murphy was the first keeper to see action, dealing ably with a free kick from former Saint Billy Dennehy 15 minutes in, as the game laboured to find a spark.
And though St Pat’s enjoyed plenty of the ball, it scarcely got better has the half wore on. Former Limerick winger Dean Clarke couldn’t get a solid header to Conan Byrne’s cross just past the half-hour mark.
Byrne then curled a shot over the top a minute later after Ryan Brennan had worked an opening.
Limerick ‘keeper Brendan Clarke made the only real save of a dour first half two minutes before the break; diving to his right to push away a drive from distance by Doona to deny his former club the lead.
St Pat’s upped the tempo on the resumption, with the industrious Brennan heading over from Bermingham’s cross. Bermingham then gave his side a deserved lead on 56 minutes for what proved the winner.
Dennehy saw yellow for a foul on Simon Madden and Limerick were further punished as Bermingham met Byrne’s free kick with a bullet header for his second goal of the season.
Their tails up, St Pat’s were inches from doubling their lead eight minutes later as the impressive Brennan’s stinging drive arrowed just over the top of Clarke’s crossbar.
Doona was then guilty of a poor miss on 74 minutes. Brennan flicked on Keegan’s cross from the right to find Doona at the back, who somehow ballooned the ball over the crossbar with the goal at his mercy.
ST PATRICK’S ATHLETIC: Murphy; Madden, Toner, Desmond, Bermingham; R. Brennan, Lennon; C. Byrne, Doona, Clarke (Markey, 69); Keegan (Fagan, 90+1).
LIMERICK :Clarke;Kelly,Whitehead,D.Dennehy,B.Dennehy; Cantwell (Maguire, 66), Coleman; Cameron (McGowan, 89), Duggan, Fitzgerald (Walsh-O’Loghlen 79); Ellis.