LAST-DAY DATE WITH DESTINY LOOMS FOR MONS AFTER LIMERICK LOSS

28 October 2011 No Comments by The Northern Standard

Monaghan United 0
Limerick FC 1

A last day of the season date with destiny beckons for Monaghan United at the Athlone Town Stadium next Saturday evening after they went down to a narrow 0-1 defeat in this war of attrition with Limerick FC at Gortakeegan on Friday, writes Peter Hughes.
The promotion permutations are many, but a win for the Mons against Athlone will at the very least secure for them a play-off against Premier Division basement dwellers Galway United.
The local fans who made their way to the Newbliss Road on Friday night were hoping for a result that would avoid such an enervating eventuality.
But the creeping unease they experienced when Paudie Quinn’s speculative sixth-minute drive from distance evaded Gabriel Sava in the United goal flowered into an evening of frustration as Limerick, on a winning run that has made them a major player in the promotion shake-up, summoned the dogged defensive discipline that is their forte to frustrate a Mons side missing the inspiration and inventive industry that suspended Brennan brothers Sean and Ryan would have supplied.
Windswept conditions hampered creativity on the night, but notwithstanding the weather there was a spark of vitality missing from the United performance that manager Roddy Collins will be working his motivational magic to recreate before his side takes the field against an Athlone Town team they have, encouragingly, beaten in both of their previous League encounters this campaign.
A populous, vociferous contingent of Limerick loyalists combined with the large turn-out of home adherents to create a vibrant atmosphere for Friday’s game, but the action only fitfully matched its backdrop.
After some tentative sparring, a 5th minute Eric Foley free-kick found the head of Paul Byrne, chosen to spearhead the United attack with Declan Fabio O’Brien left on the bench, but the effort was comfortably taken by Barry Ryan in the Limerick goal.
A minute later Limerick delivered a hammer-blow to the home side, Paudie Quinn unleashing an ambitious effort from the 30-yard mark that swerved sufficiently in flight to deceive Gabriel Sava and present the visitors with the gift of an early lead.
The goal knocked the Mons out of their stride for a time, but they gradually began to assert a control on the middle of the park.
In the 16th minute Jordan Keegan stole possession from Corie Treacy in the centre and looked for several seconds to have a clear run on goal before Limerick captain Pat Purcell showed all his experience to intervene effectively.
Full report in The Northern Standard

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