Inspired Ryan defies Sligo

BLUE SKY THINKING: Sligo Rovers' Joseph Ndo takes a corner-kick against Limerick at Thomond Park last night. Picture: Diarmuid Greene/Sportsfile

AIRTRICITY PREMIER DIVISION:
Limerick 0 Sligo Rovers 0
Limerick FC produced a backs-to-the-wall performance to deny Sligo Rover all three points in an entertaining stalemate at Thomond Park last night.

Rovers dominated in terms of chances created but could find no way past outstanding Limerick keeper Barry Ryan.

The visitors almost hit the jackpot inside the first three minutes, Anthony Elding sending Ryan scrambling back across his line with a looping header from a Ross Gaynor cross.

Elding then came within inches of getting his toe to a David Cawley cross, and Ryan had to dive to his left to keep out a Gavin Peers header as the visitors dominated.

With the Rovers midfield pressing the ball at every opportunity and their defence bossing the Limerick attack, Stuart Taylor’s men were finding it difficult to get a foothold in this game.

They finally made some inroads 16 minutes in when Axel Bossekota earned a corner, but the Limerick attack failed to make meaningful contact on Stephen Bradley’s dangerous flag kick.

At the other end, Elding had two opportunities in quick succession, while Bossekota had the ball in the net for the home side in the 24th minute only for it to be ruled out for handball.

Gary Rogers was called into action for the first time in the 39th minute, the Sligo keeper tipping a David O’Leary over.

Elding was back in the thick of the action again immediately after the break, but his rising drive was saved by Ryan and he then had the ball taken off his toe by Brian O’Callaghan.

Alan Keane, Rafael Cretaro and the impressive Aaron Greene were also denied as the home goalmouth continued to lead a charmed existence.

Elding was put through by Cretaro in the 67th minute but, Ryandived low to his right to pull off another top-class save, with the flag raised for offside either way.

However, Limerick went close through substitute Rory Gaffney and Danny Galbraith either side of the 75th minute mark, Galbraith sending an effort from the right whizzing past Rogers’ far post.

Rogers then had to race off his line to clear a Kelly cross off the head of Stephen Folan, while Elding failed to connect with a Cretaro knockdown inside the final ten minutes.

Cretaro had calls for a penalty waved aside late on after going down under a Patrick Nzui challenge, while Danny Ventre had a shot blocked down by Joe Gamble as the Shannonsiders held out for a point.

LIMERICK FC: Ryan, Kelly, O’Callaghan, Folan, Tracy, Gamble, Bradley, Nzuzi, O’Leary (Rainsford 87) Galbraith, Bossekota (Gaffney 60).

SLIGO ROVERS: Rogers, Keane, Peers, Henderson, Cawley (Ventre 92) Ekding, Cretaro (Martin 90) Gaynor, Ndo, Lynch (Djailia 71) Greene.

Referee: A Buttimer (Cork).


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