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Drogs denied big top-of-the-table win as Mann rescues point for Limerick

The draw marks Limerick’s first dropped points of the season.

File photo: Aaron Molloy and Sean Brennan dispute an FAI Cup penalty conceded to Derry City.
File photo: Aaron Molloy and Sean Brennan dispute an FAI Cup penalty conceded to Derry City.
Image: Presseye/Lorcan Doherty/INPHO

Limerick 2

Drogheda United 2

LIMERICK DROPPED THEIR first points of the season in a drama-filled clash with Drogheda United on Shannonside.

An own-goal gave Limerick the lead on the hour mark before goals for Sam O’Connor and Aaron Ashe appeared to have won the game for the visitors. Ross Mann’s late strike salvaged a point for the Blues though – much to the dismay of second-placed Drogheda.

In a first half that lacked much quality, both sides had plenty of decent chances to open the scoring. Marc Griffin, on only his second start for Drogs, spurned a couple of opportunities, while Stephen Kenny had the best of the hosts’ openings – but his shot was well off target after cutting in from the right.

Limerick have dominated games from start to finish at home this year, but Pete Mahon’s men came with the intention of picking up three points.

Athlone Town held the record for keeping the Blues scoreless for the longest period of time in a league game – Paul O’Conor netted against the Midlanders after 57 minutes. The Boynesiders held their hosts for an hour, but the goal eventually arrived through a set piece.

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Stephen Kenny’s corner from the right landed at the back post – where a host of players waited to meet it. The final touch came off a Drogheda defender and into the net.

Just as it seemed like Limerick would coast to their thirteenth consecutive league win, young ‘keeper Tommy Holland dropped Sam O’Connor’s header into the net.

To their credit, Drogheda kept up the pressure on Limerick and got their reward with just minutes to go as Aaron Ashe fired a low drive into the bottom corner.

The drama wasn’t over there however – substitute Mann’s outstretched leg diverted Stephen Kenny’s cross into the net deep into injury time to preserve Limerick’s unbeaten league record.

Limerick go into the break with a fourteen point advantage, – while Drogs claim a big point to strengthen their hold on second spot.

Limerick: Tommy Holland; Shaun Kelly (Ross Mann, 90+2), Paudie O’Connor, Robbie Williams, Shane Tracy; Paul O’Conor, Lee-J Lynch; Stephen Kenny, Chris Mulhall, Sean Russell; John O’Flynn.

Drogheda: Stephen McGuinness; Lloyd Buckley, Niall Cooney, Luke Gallagher, Stephen Dunne; Aaron Ashe, Sean Brennan (Ken Costello, 62), Sean Thornton, Derek Doyle; Sam O’Connor (Liam Donnelly, 88); Marc Griffin (Eoin Kirwan, 78).

Referee: Adriano Reale

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Andrew Cunneen

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