Wednesday 29 January 2020

Limerick hold Sligo to keep Taylor happy with progress

Limerick 0, Sligo Rovers 0

This was a frustrating night at Thomond Park for Sligo Rovers as the champions were left reflecting on what might have been.

Chances were crafted in both halves by Sligo, but Limerick's pluck was rewarded with a point which ensured manager Stuart Taylor cut a satisfied figure. Limerick are developing nicely, according to Taylor.

"It was a very open game, that is what happens when teams are attack-minded. I knew it would be an entertaining game. We are always looking to progress and we are progressing as the weeks go by. We want more points and we want to keep working hard."

The opening quarter provided evidence of the breadth of Sligo's game as the visitors dictated the tempo. Lee Lynch's energy saw him wander from the centre of the park into attacking areas and Sligo really should have reflected their bright start with a goal.

Usually pretty passers Sligo also showed that they can get the ball wide too and Limerick were fortunate to escape unblemished. Ross Gaynor's third-minute header was met by a looping Anthony Elding header which drifted wide.

PROBE

Then Raffaele Cretaro's fifth-minute delivery was missed by Elding as Sligo continued to probe. Sligo were spraying it about nicely and another Gaynor centre in the eighth minute located Gavin Peers, but his firm header was saved by Limerick custodian Barry Ryan.

Relieved not to have conceded, Limerick gradually began to play a bit, with David O'Leary's midfield promise combining with the guile of Stephen Bradley and Joe Gamble. In bother initially, suddenly Limerick's central trio were examining David Cawley, Joseph Ndo and Lee Lynch.

There was the usual dollop of controversy too as Limerick had a 25th-minute goal disallowed as Axel Bossekota appeared to handle before lobbing the advancing Gary Rogers. The Blues' grievance, though, was about the delay in the call being made by the officials. It was getting edgy.

After the restart Sligo were quickly out of the traps with Elding extracting a fingertip save from Ryan following an Alan Keane clearance. Limerick were under duress once more as the standard bearers were probing.

Keane had a 55th-minute shot gathered by Ryan, but there was little wrong with Limerick's attitude and application. Taylor has constructed a team that will graft and while injuries deprived them of craft in the final third, Limerick remained gritty. It was enough to pinch a point, Sligo were thinking about the two that they didn't get.

Limerick FC – Ryan; Kelly, O'Callaghan, Folan, Nzuzi; Galbraith, Bradley, Gamble, O'Leary (Rainsford, 87), Tracy; Bossekota (Gaffney, 60).

Sligo Rovers – Rogers; Keane, Peers, Henderson, Gaynor; Cawley (Ventre, 83), Ndo, Lynch (Djilali, 72); Cretaro (Martin, 90), Elding, Greene.

Ref – A Buttimer (Cork).

Irish Independent

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