Lacklustre Limerick crash out of FAI Cup

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Stuart Taylor LFCLimerick FC 1-2 Bohemians

THERE will be no cup run for Limerick FC this year after a disappointing 1-2 home defeat by Bohemians in the second round of the FAI Ford Cup on Saturday evening.
In what was an underwehelming contest, goals from Steven Beattie and Paddy Kavanagh either side of half-time made the difference, with Rory Gaffney’s late reply merely a consolation.
Neither side was too willing to take the early initiative, with 12 minutes elapsing before the first real opening. Beattie slipped the ball across the penalty area to Dinny Corcoran, who was unable to beat Barry Ryan from all of five yards.
In the 15th minute, Gaffney’s long throw was flicked on by Stephen Folan and Bohs struggled to get the ball clear. Danny Galbraith swivelled to volley it and Shane Duggan crashed a volley into the ground, the ball bouncing up and off the crossbar.
There was precious little quality on show in the first half, with Beattie on the right for Bohs the only real threat. He jinked into the Limerick penalty area on 27 minutes, but failed to get a shot away and the home side managed to close down the Bohs man.
After 34 minutes, Kavanagh crossed from the left into Beattie, who unleashed a powerful yet finessed left-foot shot into the bottom corner of the Limerick net to give the visitors a deserved lead.
The Super Blues were off-colour, with passes failing to meet their intended target or drifting out of play. Their opening 45 minutes was epitomised by a hugely ambitious Folan shot from near halfway which sailed well off target.
There was a flashpoint just before half-time when an impetuous Eoin Wearen challenge floored Galbraith. The Bohs midfielder was shown a yellow card, as was Tam McManus for dissent towards referee Graham Kelly.
Corcoran was later guilty of his second bad miss of the evening just after the interval when he sliced the ball wide with the goal at his mercy. On 58 minutes the visitors doubled their lead when Bohs broke quickly. Beattie slipped the ball to Kavanagh in the middle of the park and he ran in one-on-one with Ryan, rounding the Limerick goalkeeper before finishing coolly for 2-0.
At this point, Bohs were well on top and went close through Anto Murphy before having a strong penalty claim when one of their players was bundled over. However, a free kick to Limerick was awarded instead.
It was almost 3-0 on 64 minutes when Wearen got into the box and shot from eight yards, but Ryan pulled off a fine save from the Bohs midfielder.
Limerick had little to offer in terms of chances but, out of nothing, they pulled one back midway through the second half. Shane Duggan passed to substitute Tony Whitehead, who delivered a fine ball to Gaffney and the striker dispatched to the net with aplomb.
Unfortunately the goal didn’t spark a renewed surge from the Super Blues. When they next got the ball into a good area with 10 minutes to go, Ross Mann couldn’t get a good header on it and the chance was lost.
A mostly drab game played out to a rather foreseeable conclusion as Bohemians deservedly took their place in the last 16, with Limerick left to lick their wounds after a sobering defeat.
With four Premier Division teams exiting the cup on Friday night, it seemed to be nicely poised for Stuart Taylor’s side to embark on a lengthy cup run. Instead, it’s league action only for the remainder of 2014.
Limerick FC: Ryan, Kelly, Folan, Oji, Nzuzi (Hanlon 89), Duggan, Rainsford (Whitehead 62), Tracy (Mann 26), Galbraith, McManus, Gaffney
Bohemians: Delany, Murphy, D Byrne, Price, Pender (Mulcahy h-t), Beattie (Devaney 88), Lopes, Wearen, Kavanagh, Buckley (Walsh 78), Corcoran
Referee: Graham Kelly
Attendance: 842