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Limerick ease to victory over struggling Drogheda

By Gerrard Grimes at United Park

Goals from Robbie Williams and substitute Garbhan Coughlan saw Limerick move into the top half of the table as they comfortably beat Drogheda United 2-0 at United Park.

Limerick dominated from the off against a disjointed Drogheda United side who have now slipped to eleventh in the league.

Neil McDonald’s side thought they had taken the lead courtesy of a Luke Gallagher own goal after nine minutes.

Dean Clarke’s great run saw him through on goal but his eventual shot was weak. However, the ball instead found itself heading in the path of Chiedozie Ogbene before a sliding Gallagher turned the ball into his own net.

Limerick’s celebrations were cut short though as the linesman flagged against Ogbene, deeming the forward to be interfering with play from an offside position.

The visitors didn’t have to wait long to hit the front as they scored three minutes later. Lee Lynch’s free kick from the right took a touch in the box before the ball found Robbie Williams who headed home from close range.

However, again the linesman had his flag raised for offside but referee Robert Harvey overruled his assistant and awarded Limerick the goal after he deemed the touch in the box to have come off a Drogheda player, therefore keeping Williams onside.

The home side managed to create a number of chances before the break, without really testing Brendan Clarke. The first of those was a Sean Brennan free kick on the 18 yard line which was hit straight at the wall.

Drogheda’s only effort on goal in the game came after 39 minutes as Ciarán McGuigan rose highest at the back post to meet Sean Brennan’s header but Clarke was equal to the effort making a fine save.

The second half followed the same pattern as the first with Limerick the better side both defensively and offensively. Drogheda never looked threatening as they failed to keep the ball or create any chances of note.

Limerick looked threatening throughout, especially on the counter through Ogbene and Clarke who both sent efforts wide in the second half.

However, their perseverance would pay off as with four minutes to play. Garbhan Coughlan beat Drogheda keeper McGuinness to a hopeful long ball on the edge of the box to head home Limerick’s second and extend Drogheda’s run without a win to ten games.

Drogheda United: Stephen McGuinness; Colm Deasy (Shane Elworthy 41’), Luke Gallagher, Ciarán McGuigan, Conor Kane; Sean Brennan (c), Richie Purdy (Sean Thornton HT’), Ryan McEvoy; Adam Wixted, Ryan Masterson (Stephen Meaney 73’), Mark Doyle.

Limerick: Brendan Clarke; Shaun Kelly, Tony Whitehead, Robbie Williams, David O’Connor; Shane Duggan (c) (Paul O’Conor 88’), Bastien Hery, Lee-J Lynch, Chiedozie Ogbene (Garbhan Coughlan 77’); Dean Clarke (Stephen Kenny 68’), Rodrigo Tosi.

Referee: Robert Harvey.

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